Thursday, December 31, 2015

Jesus Loves People But Why They Hated Him and the Christians so Much? (1 John 3:11-13)

It's not nail, but love that causes Him to died on the cross for us. Now, He is Alive! 
This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you
(1 John 3:11-13, NLT).

The Apostle John begins to summarize all of his teachings again with one key thought: “We should love one another.” I like the Amplified Bible translates this: “We should [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another” [The Greek word for “love” here is agape, it is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another]. Actually, it was Jesus Himself who first made this key teaching when He was on earth. He taught that our attitude should be one of service rather than of superiority. In other words, we should be humble and not just do it out of a sense of obligation or because we think we know more or are better than anyone else. “Just as I have loved you,” said Jesus, “so you too are to love one another” (John 13:34; 15:12).

After making this strong statement, John then warns us “not be like Cain,” who was the oldest son of Adam and Eve (read Genesis 4:1-16). We read that both Cain and his brother, Abel, brought offerings to God, as they were required to do. But evidently only Abel was sincere and showed faith. Abel was “a righteous man” (Hebrews 11:4) and “doing what was righteous.” Cain, however, “had been doing what was evil.” Cain’s worship was unacceptable to God because of the anger, envy, and hatred which he begin to build up within himself toward his brother. Finally, Cain lost control of his temper and he murdered his own blood brother, Abel. To complicated the situation even further, Cain not only become the first murderer, but he also lied to God and pretended as if he did not know what had happened (Genesis 4:9). In a sense, Cain is the supreme example of hatred. Your worship will not be heard and accepted by God if you harbour hatred toward others, especially your brothers and sisters in Christ. Therefore, “love one another.”

Linked to what John had said about “love one another,” he reminds us that we, however, should not be surprised if some people in the world hate us for no reason, even as we are trying to do what is right and good. “So don’t be surprised… if the world hates you.” Why do you think they get angry? Well, I think, to persons who are evil or not in a right relationship with God, someone else who is doing what is right is a walking reminder of his or her own shortcomings. They are offended. Even we do not mean it this way, others may thought or feel that we are judging them or acting superior, when in fact, they have reacted with resentment, hatred and jealousy to what is right and holy. Darkness hates light. “Don’t be surprised.”

Jesus received the same kind of reaction when He lived on earth. As He showed love to the most marginalized people – such as the sick, the poor and the needy – the religious leaders could hardly contain their anger. Was Jesus doing something evil? Was Jesus taking the advantage of other people? Was Jesus leading a rebellion? No, Jesus was doing good and righteous. They got so mad that they wanted to kill Jesus. So, if this happened to Jesus, we shouldn’t be surprised if people in the world do not always admire what we are trying to do or respond with gratitude for our efforts. Because the world is ruled by the devil, there is much hatred and envy, jealousy and resentment. And because of this, we should not get discouraged when people don’t respond as we hope they would. “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world.” Jesus then concluded: “I chose you to come out of the world, so it hate you” (John 15:18-19).

A reminder: We need to be careful about our motives for showing love. If the reason we care is to feel accepted by others or to gain popularity or to get applause from people, we may be frequently disappointed, because people don’t always appreciate these efforts (Maybe those self-centred actions might get people interested and gain more followers). But if we care because we want to show our love for God by caring for others, then the response of the other person doesn’t really make much difference. We can love no matter what happens. “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3:14). Do it! Amen.

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