1 John 2; 2 Chronicles 35; Psalm 89:38-52
Who would Jesus hate? That’s really a serious question because we live in a world where many who claim to be Christians are known for their hate and it occurred to me that we, as Christians, have the perfect right to hate those people whom Jesus would hate. So, who would Jesus hate?
We might think that Jesus would hate “sinners” but when you think about all the “sinners” Jesus dealt with, He treated them with love. No, He didn’t accept their sin; He encouraged sinners to stop sinning and glorify God. Still, I never saw anything that looked like hate towards “sinners” from Jesus. Jesus saved His harshest words for the religious leaders; did Jesus hate them? If we think about how Jesus reacted to individual religious leaders we see that He treated them with respect. He hated the actions that drove people away from God. Jesus didn’t even hate those who crucified Him – praying that God would forgive them.
John’s words are a reminder that we, as followers of Christ, are not to hate other people. “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.” (1 John 2:9) You may ask, “Who is my brother? Doesn’t that just mean fellow Christians?” If you take that too literally, it doesn’t say anything about our sisters in Christ. Can we hate females? Of course not. In response to the question of who my brother is, let me recall the story of the Good Samaritan. When Jesus was asked who would be a neighbor, the message of the story was that we should be neighbors to all. Are we judges of a person’s soul so that we know for sure that they are or aren’t a follower of Christ? I think Jesus would remind us that we are to be brothers (and sisters) to all people.
We don’t accept sinful behavior. I think though, we need to let God judge sinful behaviors and change the hearts of others when their sin isn’t affecting us or our brothers and sisters. Our job is to live in the light and love others as Jesus did, not live in the darkness and show hate. Perhaps instead of trying to find out who we can hate, we need to ask ourselves a different question: Who would Jesus love? Let’s show God’s love to everyone that fits in that category.
Lord, it’s so easy to hate people who are different. Help me to love those whom You would love. Let me show them Your grace through that love.