Today's Reading: John 15: 18-27
**For a simple and good way of Daily Devotion method please click this link: Subject Shifting Devotion.pdf.
Please click this link to read John 15: 18-27
After all Jesus said to the disciples of those important messages from chapter 14 until now, Jesus suddenly told them that the world would hate them no matter what they did. How could that be? What is the 'world' means?
N.T. Wright says:
'The world', from Jesus' perspective, was not the pagan world, the world of Greek and Roman culture, Caesar's world. It was 'the world' in which he was born and lived: the world of Galilee and Jerusalem ,of the Galileans and Judaeans. It was the world of Abraham's children, people who were studying the law of Moses. It was the world which thought of itself as God's people. This was the world that looked at Jesus, at what he was doing, that listened to what he was saying, and that said 'No, thank you'. this was the world that saw the blind man healed, and remained blind itself. This was the world that saw Lazarus raised to life, and decided it would be safer to kill him off properly because otherwise people might believe in Jesus.
This is such a painful message to Jesus disciples as well as to us. Why? Because our love to Jesus and are willing to do Jesus' command we are hate by our own people, those we know, those who share our lives with for years in our church and those leaders in our own church. How sad! But, Jesus encourages us with an important message at the end of this chapter that we are not there alone. The 'helper' (the Holy Spirit) will come from the Father and live in them and us, telling them and us who Jesus is and telling the world through them and us that Jesus is Lord.
What have you got from this passage?
Have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe"
What I heard from Jesus today is: Don't hate God's servants!
Jesus taught and prepared his disciples the last time through chapter 14 to this passage. It is somewhat like a coach preparing an athlete for the Olympic. But, suddenly the coach said, "OK. Now you are ready. Let me tell you, no matter you get the gold medal or not people will hate you and you have to get through with that. I will send someone to help you to go through those dark moments that you are going to suffer. Don't worry, my son!"
For the past 24 years of my ordained ministry as a priest, I have experienced several times of those painful sufferings from those whom I personally trained, loved and trusted. Sometimes it happened so fast that I did not even know what really happened! Quite a number of time I was so discouraged and thought of quitting to be a priest! I thought, why I devoted everything to train them, love them and they could turn their backs on me and hate me like that. Today, Jesus told me and reassure me that it is OK. It happened to Him and it will happen to each of one us who follow Him.
So, do you have that painful sufferings? Are you in that kind of suffering? If so, then you need to let go and let the Holy Spirit to carry you through that to a new level.
And, if you belongs to those who hates God's servants, please stop to do so because it won't do you good. You have stepped into the Deceiver's trap using you to discourage and hurt God's servant(s)! Don't do it!
Dear Holy Spirit,
Help us to get through those painful moments if we are hated by some people because of our love to you. Encourage us that we are on the right track that we will continue faithfully furthering your Kingdom. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
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Chinese praise song - 愛是不保留 Unreserved Love
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