Hated by the World, for Christ’s Sake – John 7:7

The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil.

John 7:7 NIV

In a world that preaches tolerance, but seems to seldom practice it, this verse really stands out. It would appear that Jesus was not very tolerant, and he made no bones about it. And because of his intolerance toward evil, he is hated by those who practice evil.

But I think it is important to realize that while Jesus spoke out against evil, he was loving to many of those who were living sinful lives. Take the Samaritan woman in John 4 as an example. While he confronted her lifestyle, he did so in a way that likely brought her into salvation. At others times though he just condemned sin, especially in the lives of those who were supposed to be spiritual leaders, but whose practice did not line up with their teaching (Matt 23). But even as Jesus spoke out against sin, I have no doubt that he would have welcomed any who would have turned from that sin.

As disciples of Jesus, we should not wave the flag of tolerance. We may be hated by the world because we belong to Christ. But we should let our lives and words bear witness to the truth of Christ and against evil. Doing so in love and with the hope of rescuing the perishing (Jude 1:22-23).

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