Some people weren’t really all that fond of Jesus while He was on earth. I suppose that’s fairly obvious since He was, after all, nailed to a cross.
He wasn’t oblivious to people’s opinions, He knew how others looked at Him. He even stated in John 15:18 that “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.”
I think it’s safe to say that these words have become rather timeless, because let’s face it: Christians are hated by many people. Some seem to have good reason, while others not so much. But before you go on and somehow get excited about being hated, let’s make a distinction here, because by Jesus’ terms, the world should hate us because we don’t look like the world. He goes on in verse 19 to say it Himself: “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”
In other words, if someone hates you because of your Christianity, it should be because you’re different, holy, and set apart—NOT because you call yourself a Christian and yet don’t live by the standards of Christ. Unfortunately, I would have to guess that we’re typically hated for the latter suggestion.
But the early disciples would be hated because they carried the image of Christ everywhere they went. They were authentic and because of it, they would be persecuted and tortured—even in the name of God! Jesus mentioned this in John 16:2-3.
…an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. These things they will do because they have not known the Father or Me.
This statement is seen in the Apostle Paul’s life. He used to kill Christians before the truth of Jesus was revealed to Him. See, Paul thought he knew God and he thought that it was God’s will to have every last Christian exterminated from the face of the planet. But then God made Himself known to Paul and it created the radical apostle we all know today. The same apostle who was beat up and persecuted for looking like Jesus.
And if we take a look at our own history what do we see? Well, you’ll find supposed Christians murdering others. They killed those who didn’t convert to Christianity and on top of that, they even killed other Christians for having different thoughts on doctrines! And because they did such things in the name of the Father and of Jesus (even though they did not know God or Jesus), we live with a tainted history that can be referenced against us by those who hate us.
We’ve even seen it in more recent times as we see supposed Christians raising satanic “God hates gays” signs.
I’m optimistic for the future though—even the present. It’s not that there won’t be hypocritical Christians out there, but rather that there will be a generation that’s looks so much like Christ that even those who hate us will be able to tell the difference and feel no reason to reference the evil that supposed Christians have done, because even those who hate us will know the difference between Christians and those who simply call themselves one.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. I know what I’m trying to say, but I’m having one of those moments were I’m struggling to put it into words. :)