John 16:2 “They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.”
What was Jesus talking about here? Why would his disciples be so mistreated? It was because Jesus had commanded them to obey Him and His greatest commandment was that they love one another. Jesus didn’t command them to just love those who loved them. He commanded them to even love their enemies. And what was the greatest love they could show to them? Telling them the truth about their sin and their need of forgiveness which could only come through Christ. This was the exact same message that Jesus spoke to the world before his death. Man’s reaction to this message was not gratitude but hatred – for in their ignorance and false religion they thought they were good people, not sinners. Jesus’ message, and his disciples message challenged their heart-felt beliefs. Who were they to tell them they were sinners? Yet Jesus told them to preach the gospel in spite of this reaction of hatred that could be expected in return. This is the greatest love, to be willing to sacrifice our own well-being for the good of others who need to hear the truth. While we were yet sinners Christ died for us. While our unbelieving friends and family are yet sinners, are we willing to sacrifice our comfort and perhaps even our lives for them? Do we love them enough to tell them the truth so that they may be saved, even if they hate us for it?
May God give us that love that is willing to sacrifice our own comfort for the good of others. May He give us the love and the boldness to share the gospel in obedience to Him and for the eternal blessing of others – no matter what that love costs us. And may He help us to demonstrate that love in our actions as well as our words.
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