John 7:1-24; 1 Chronicles 27-28; Zechariah 12
“The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil.” (John 7:7 NKJV)
Good and evil is in the mind of the beholder. If we think about world history, all infamous leaders used some form of rationalization to excuse their actions as being for their understanding of the greater good. The question then becomes, is there an objective standard to determine what’s good and what’s evil. Jesus had such a standard: the mind and heart of God as shown by His teachings. And so, Jesus called out even the religious elite who had twisted God’s teachings to make them a harsh taskmaster, instead of the loving plans for God’s goodness to show through. Jesus saw the evil in their actions and He called them out. It’s amazing that when God’s truth is spoken, those whose ways are contrary to His ways have the most to lose. In this case, the Pharisees hated Jesus and ended up turning Him over to the Romans to crucify Him. The works of the Pharisees, as well-intentioned as they are, were evil.
Society today has the same problem with followers of Christ. The truth of God’s word is anathema to many who live and teach in ways that sound nice and are pleasing to the natural man but contrary to God’s plan. Those who proclaim God’s truth are despised and called “haters” by those whose ways are compared to God’s ways. As Jesus was hated, so will we be hated. But, as Jesus loved even those who hated Him, so we are to love those who hate us. God loves this world, even the people who hate and malign Him. If God so loves this world, we have the same calling. Don’t be surprised when people hate you for following God, accept the hate and keep on loving those people just like God does.
Lord, You are the God of all Creation. You set all things in motion and You love Your creation. Since You know the way things should work, help me to speak of Your ways. Since we live in a world that seems to hate Your ways, help me to show those opposed to You the same love and grace You showed me.