In verse 17, He says, “These things I command you, so that you will love one another,” essentially repeating His command from verse 12, urging Christ-like love among His followers. But He is also setting the stage for talking about the hatred His disciples most surely will experience at the hands of those who don’t believe.
Assignment: Pray. We cannot understand God’s Word apart from the ministry of the Holy Spirit teaching us.
- Open Blue Letter Bible and go to John 15:18. We’re going to note the meanings of two different words before we start marking them in the text.
- Open the interlinear for verse 18 and click on the Strong’s number for the world. This word is used in different ways. The definition under “Outline of Biblical Usage” that pertains to John 15 is number VI. Record this definition in your notebook or in the margin of your Bible.
- Use your browser’s back arrow to return to the interlinear, and click the word hate. Record the meaning of this word in your notes or Bible, too.
Now we’re ready to mark the text.
- Read John 15:17-27. While you read, draw a gray dot (a filled-in circle) lightly over every appearance of the word world along with any pronouns that refer to the world. Look for and mark words like they, their, and its that refer to the world.
(Generally I use a large blue dot to mark references to the created world or earth. For this use of world, I’m using gray to denote its difference in meaning, and to tie in with my normal black markings for sin and wickedness. Color lightly with a black pencil to create the gray dots.)
- When you have finished marking world, read the same verses again, this time underlining every appearance of the word hate with a red zigzag line.
- Read the same verses one more time, this time drawing a black circle around the word because.
- We’ll mark more words tomorrow. For today, look over your markings and record any new insights you gained from simply marking the text.
Why does the world hate Jesus and His followers? The word because that you have circled will help you pinpoint at least two of the reasons.
Have you personally experienced the world’s hatred? If you haven’t, should you?
For your children:
- Read John 15:18 with your children. Talk about how and why people hated Jesus, and how their hatred eventually led to His crucifixion.
- Then read the account in John 5:1-8 of Jesus healing the lame man on the Sabbath. Discuss what Jesus did and said that angered the Pharisees.
- Let older children look for another account of the world hating Jesus that they can share with the family at dinnertime.
- Let younger children (and older, if they’re interested) act out the story together, or let them draw or paint a picture that depicts what happens when Jesus heals the lame man.