“They hated me without a reason” John 15:25
Did you ever think of the fact that there is a good kind of hatred? When we think of hate, it is almost, if not always, with an evil connotation to the word. It seems hard to imagine a good form of hatred. However, the Bible positively commands God’s people to hate.
In Psalm 97:10 we read, “Let those who love the Lord hate evil.” (NIV).
In Proverbs 8:13 we read, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil.” (NIV).
In Amos 5:15 it says, “Hate evil, love good.” (NIV).
So there is a time to hate and there is a specific thing to hate. God’s people are to love what is good and to hate what is evil. This is to be a constant activity on our part as believers in Jesus.
Now the curious thing, the really dreadful thing about the hatred shown toward Jesus is that it had no real foundation. Jesus was certainly hated by some people when He walked among us. And Jesus told His followers in the context of our verse for today that the world would hate them as well.
It may be that today you suffer because you love what is good. You seek to be devout in your relationship to the Lord and those around you resent your goodness. It is an odd twist of reason that people who wish you to join them in cheating someone else of their money are upset if you cheat them.
People wish you to partner with them in some sin but if you then sin against them they get upset. People wish you to be honest with them but are happy if you lie to someone else if they will benefit from your lies.
When Jesus was physically here He healed sick people, He spoke a gracious message, He did not provoke when provoked, His entire life was full of grace and truth. Yet, He was hated and despised. Why? Well, in the context Jesus said that His presence on the earth exposed the sin of the people. No one enjoys having their sin exposed to the light. So when Jesus exposed their sin they saw Him as an enemy to avoid or to kill.
There are times when we suffer in life it is because of sin in the lives of others and not sin in ourselves. We need to meet this problem as Jesus did. A few hours later as He was being nailed to the cross He prayed to His Father in heaven and asked that the sins of the soldiers might be forgiven as they did not even understand what they were doing.
Perhaps today you need to pray for someone who hates you for no reason. They cause you suffering and do not understand what they are doing.
Can you rise above the desire to inflict pain on them as they do to you and seek their good? If you love Jesus you will find the grace to do exactly that. Seek to bless your enemy and do good or the person who does you harm. You shall be blessed by the Lord for helping someone who has hurt you and hates you without a reason.