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Daily Archives: April 11, 2017

Who Hated Jesus and How Do I Get Them to Hate Me Too?

In John 15:18-20, Jesus says, “if you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.”   Who were the people that hated Jesus and how do I get them to hate me too? That is the question that I’m pondering as I write to you about John 15.       After finishing their meal and the discussion afterwards from chapter 14, Jesus and the disciples left. They were all tired from posing on one side of the big Italian table for such a long time so Jesus said let’s go hang out in the garden of Gethsemane! (lol)  Jesus continued to explain things to his disciples. Just like all of Jesus’ followers, they couldn’t grasp that Jesus was teaching something completely different from every other man made religion. He explained the same points in dozens of ways, and we still all ask, “so what are the rules? Where is the check-list? Who can we exclude so we fill super important and holy?” So, Jesus explained that he is like a vine and God the Father is like a gardener. Jesus’ followers are like branches if we remain in him like a branch attached to a vine, then we will grow and produce fruit and the Father will prune away the things that are holding us back. Throughout the passage, Jesus says over and over “remain in me”. He promises that if we remain in him, we will be productive and whatever we ask, it will be done for us!  Jesus continued to explain by saying, “2000 years from now, a bunch of middle-class Americans are going to be sitting around in churches looking up the original Greek word for fruit and eating fruit salad and pondering what all this means. They need to focus on how I have loved all my followers just as the Father has loved me. They should remain in that love and keep my commands.”  (CFT)* It’s really a pretty simple teaching but it changes everything. We are supposed to dwell in Jesus’ love for us. Live in it. Remain in it. Focus on it. Obsess on…