John 15:18-27 Living With Opposition

by | Jun 6, 2024 | John, New Testament

I. Opposition Is To Be Expected Vs. 18-20

A. The World’s Opposition Of Jesus

1. Jesus was clearly and violently rejected by the world He entered into.
2. They twisted His words, disapproved of His works, and ultimately killed Him.

B. The World’s Opposition Of Jesus’ Disciples

1. V. 18- Hate– to detest, to persecute, to love less, to regard with ill will, to esteem less.
2. To say that there exists opposition and hatred towards Christians is to state the obvious.

a. Worldwide, opposition to the Christian faith seems to be growing.
b. In the Middle East, we see Christians tortured and killed.
c. In the West, we see increasing political and cultural opposition.

2. The Down Side- Sadly, some Christians are hated for their lack of Christ likeness.

a. Jesus was full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
b. Some Christians are not inclined to show much grace to people. They are graceless.

i. Grace- good will, loving kindness, favor.
ii. Some followers of Jesus are rude, stubborn, and show little or no grace to anyone.

c. Other Christians often don’t walk in truth either in word or deed.
d. That causes non-Christians to hate them and to ridicule Jesus.
e. Romans 2:21-24 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.

3. Conversely- Jesus made it clear that whoever follows Him should expect opposition.

a. 2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
b. To the degree that we follow Jesus will also be the degree that we are disliked or hated
c. The immediate application in the passage was for the disciples.

i. Both the Bible and secular history tell us of the opposition they faced.
ii. The same principle has come forward 2000 years. That opposition still exists.

4. Why the opposition/hatred? Jesus said that any opposition a Christian experiences is because of the connection that the Christian shares with Jesus. The opposition started against Him, and trickles down to us, but only as we walk in Him and with Him.

a. V. 19– You are not of the world- The more we are unlike the world, the more opposition we should expect.
b. We shouldn’t take rejection personally; rather, rejoice to be so identified with Jesus.
c. John 3:19-20 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
d. It is a preference for sin and darkness that is the root cause of people rejecting Jesus.

i. It is a love for that which is obviously sinful.
ii. More subtly, a desire for self-rule, and a rejection of the idea of failure or sin.
iii. Jesus (and hopefully His followers) bring spiritual and moral light.
iv. Those who prefer darkness will naturally reject Jesus and His followers.

e. That rejection can have great animosity and hatred attached to it.

5. V. 20- Followers of Jesus shouldn’t expect to be immune from hatred and persecution.
6. V. 20- Some people will believe the words that Jesus speaks through you.

II. The Mind And Heart Of Unbelievers Vs. 21-27

A. They Don’t Know God

1. V. 21-Many who opposed Jesus and later opposed His followers were religious leaders.

a. The Jewish leaders of Israel greatly opposed Jesus.
b. The pantheistic Greek/Roman culture opposed Jesus’ followers.
c. Both cultures claimed to be connected to God or gods.

2. In reality, none of those people knew the true and living God.

B. They Refuse The Presence Of God

1. V. 22- Sin- harmatia- to miss the mark, to be without a share in, to err, to be mistaken, to wander from the path, to violate God’s law.
2. Jesus explained the guilt that they bore. God came to Earth in the person of Christ, and they rejected Him. They saw and heard abundant evidence of truth, but chose darkness.
3. Many claim to be connected to God, but they reject Jesus, and even hate Jesus.

a. John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
b. You can’t claim to love God but reject Jesus.

4. Vs. 23, 24- In reality, to hate/reject Jesus is to hate/reject the Father.

a. Hating/rejecting Jesus is to reject the plan and declaration of the Father about mankind’s need for a Savior.
b. It is to reject God’s offer and plan for forgiveness and redemption and healing.

5. V. 22- Jesus comes to mankind today through various means.

a. The testimony of nature that there is a Creator/Designer.
b. The testimony of rights/wrongs on the human heart, accusing or excusing a person.
c. The testimony of both the written word of God and the spoken word of God.

6. People reject those testimonies on some level because it offends/challenges them.

C. They Have No Good Reason To Hate God

1. V. 25- I believe that every objection cannot be answered; the Church fails in many ways.
2. I believe that every objection against Jesus/God can be answered reasonably.

III. The Continuance Of The Testimony

A. The Testimony Of The Holy Spirit

1. V. 26-In spite of the opposition the disciples would face, Jesus reminded that He was going to send the Holy Spirit to indwell them.
2. One of the aspects of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian is the purpose of testifying about Jesus. When the Christian is prompted to speak of Jesus, it is the Holy Spirit prompting him. (John 16:14)

B. The Testimony Of The Disciples

1. Though they would face great opposition, the disciples would indeed testify of Jesus.
2. They would be thoroughly equipped to speak of Jesus, having been with Him.
3. Present day followers of Jesus should expect that same continued internal prompting and equipping of the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus, even when facing opposition.
4. Our attitude towards those who oppose- turn to 2 Timothy 2:24-26

1. What was the most memorable part of your summer?
2. If a Christian is being opposed in the world, how can they know whether it’s because of being like Jesus or if it’s because they aren’t being like Jesus?
3. From the Notes: “One of the aspects of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Christian is the purpose of testifying about Jesus” — if that is the case, what if a person is not called to be an evangelist?
4. If we should expect the prompting and equipping of the Holy Spirit, what should we do if we aren’t being prompted or equipped or don’t feel that we are?