Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Hatred

John 15:18-19

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 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.”

RevRayHate is such a strong word.  According to dictionary.com hate is defined as – to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.

Have you ever felt hatred toward someone or something?  In our society we tend to use terms a little lightly – telling a person we love them on the first date or becoming angry with someone and quickly using the term hate to describe how we feel at the moment.

In Matthew we read Jesus teaching about love.  It was way too easy for those who heard His words – love your neighbor – to infer that that meant they could hate their enemies.  So Jesus tries to make Himself and the truth clear with today’s passage – Matthew 5:43 – You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  Jesus knew this is what some were saying and so He addressed it clearly – Matthew 5:44 – But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

Today’s passage reminds the readers that although we are to love our enemies – our enemies may not always love us – as a matter of fact – they will hate us.  If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  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.

Do you hear this tough teaching this morning?  We are to love our enemies – even as they hate us.  They will hate us because of our relationship with Jesus – who loved the world that crucified Him!  We are to emulate our Lord and Savior – loving even those who do evil against us.

That is not an easy word to hear – is it?  I mean – we can love those who love us – that’s pretty easy.  But Jesus dealt with that easy feeling too – Matthew 5:46 – If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

Loving those that everyone else says we should hate – now that is living the love that Jesus showed us.  Jesus even told us – over and over – that we will be hated and that we will be persecuted – and yet we are to love in return.  Matthew 5:10-12 – 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

I’m not going to list situations where we are hated – or even where I have felt hated – but simply to say – whenever and wherever – in return we are to show love.  1 Peter 4:8 – Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Finally our expression of love is to be perfect – just like God’s love is perfect – Matthew 5:48 – Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  Hatred is not an emotion we should harbor toward others.  Love is what we should allow to well up inside of us for those around us – even those who hate us!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

 

May 7, 2013 - Posted by | Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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