‘Hated’: John 15.18–27 (24 March 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters.

Pray

Pray

Lord, have mercy. Cleanse me. Still my mind. Help me to listen as you speak.

Read

Read

1“Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the other workers to whom the LORD has given skill and understanding, who know how to make everything needed to build the sacred Tent, are to make everything just as the LORD has commanded.”

The People Bring Many Gifts

2Moses called Bezalel, Oholiab, and all the other skilled men to whom the LORD had given ability and who were willing to help, and Moses told them to start working. 3They received from him all the offerings which the Israelites had brought for constructing the sacred Tent. But the people of Israel continued to bring Moses their offerings every morning. 4Then the skilled men who were doing the work went 5and reported to Moses, “The people are bringing more than is needed for the work which the LORD commanded to be done.”

6So Moses sent a command throughout the camp that no one was to make any further contribution for the sacred Tent; so the people did not bring any more. 7What had already been brought was more than enough to finish all the work.

Making the Tent of the LORD's Presence

8The most skilled men among those doing the work made the Tent of the LORD's presence. They made it out of ten pieces of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool and embroidered with figures of winged creatures. 9Each piece was the same size, twelve metres long and two metres wide. 10They sewed five of them together in one set and did the same with the other five. 11They made loops of blue cloth on the edge of the outside piece in each set. 12They put fifty loops on the first piece of the first set and fifty loops matching them on the last piece of the second set. 13They made fifty gold hooks, with which to join the two sets into one piece.

14Then they made a cover for the Tent out of eleven pieces of cloth made of goats' hair. 15They made them all the same size, thirteen metres long and two metres wide. 16They sewed five of them together in one set and the other six in another set. 17They put fifty loops on the edge of the last piece of one set and fifty loops on the edge of the other set. 18They made fifty bronze hooks to join the two sets, so as to form one cover. 19They made two more coverings, one of rams' skin dyed red and the other of fine leather, to serve as an outer cover.

20They made upright frames of acacia wood for the Tent. 21Each frame was four metres tall and 66 centimetres wide, 22with two matching projections, so that the frames could be joined together. All the frames had these projections. 23They made twenty frames for the south side 24and forty silver bases to go under them, two bases under each frame to hold its two projections. 25They made twenty frames for the north side of the Tent 26and forty silver bases, two under each frame. 27For the back of the Tent, on the west, they made six frames 28and two frames for the corners. 29These corner frames were joined at the bottom and connected all the way to the top. The two frames that formed the two corners were made in this way. 30So there were eight frames and sixteen silver bases, two under each frame.

31They made fifteen crossbars of acacia wood, five for the frames on one side of the Tent, 32five for the frames on the other side, and five for the frames on the west end, at the back. 33The middle crossbar, set halfway up the frames, extended from one end of the Tent to the other. 34They covered the frames with gold and fitted them with gold rings to hold the crossbars, which were also covered with gold.

35They made a curtain of fine linen, woven with blue, purple, and red wool and embroidered it with figures of winged creatures. 36They made four posts of acacia wood to hold the curtain, covered them with gold, and fitted them with gold hooks. Then they made four silver bases to hold the posts. 37For the entrance of the Tent they made a curtain of fine linen woven with blue, purple, and red wool and decorated with embroidery. 38For this curtain they made five posts fitted with hooks, covered their tops and their rods with gold, and made five bronze bases for the posts.

Jesus the Real Vine

1“I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He breaks off every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, so that it will be clean and bear more fruit. 3You have been made clean already by the teaching I have given you. 4Remain united to me, and I will remain united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5“I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me. 6Whoever does not remain in me is thrown out like a branch and dries up; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, where they are burnt. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it. 8My Father's glory is shown by your bearing much fruit; and in this way you become my disciples. 9I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.

11“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. 13The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them. 14And you are my friends if you do what I command you. 15I do not call you servants any longer, because servants do not know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. 16You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name. 17This, then, is what I command you: love one another.

The World's Hatred

18“If the world hates you, just remember that it has hated me first. 19If you belonged to the world, then the world would love you as its own. But I chose you from this world, and you do not belong to it; that is why the world hates you. 20Remember what I told you: ‘Slaves are not greater than their master.’ If people persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours too. 21But they will do all this to you because you are mine; for they do not know the one who sent me. 22They would not have been guilty of sin if I had not come and spoken to them; as it is, they no longer have any excuse for their sin. 23Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24They would not have been guilty of sin if I had not done among them the things that no one else ever did; as it is, they have seen what I did, and they hate both me and my Father. 25This, however, was bound to happen so that what is written in their Law may come true: ‘They hated me for no reason at all.’

26“The Helper will come — the Spirit, who reveals the truth about God and who comes from the Father. I will send him to you from the Father, and he will speak about me. 27And you, too, will speak about me, because you have been with me from the very beginning.

1Those who love knowledge want to be told when they are wrong. It is stupid to hate being corrected.

2The LORD is pleased with good people, but condemns those who plan evil.

3Wickedness does not give security, but righteous people stand firm.

4A good wife is her husband's pride and joy; but a wife who brings shame on her husband is like a cancer in his bones.

5Honest people will treat you fairly; the wicked only want to deceive you.

6The words of the wicked are murderous, but the words of the righteous rescue those who are threatened.

7The wicked meet their downfall and leave no descendants, but the families of the righteous live on.

8If you are intelligent, you will be praised; if you are stupid, people will look down on you.

9It is better to be an ordinary person working for a living than to play the part of someone great but go hungry.

10Good people take care of their animals, but wicked people are cruel to theirs.

11A hard-working farmer has plenty to eat, but it is stupid to waste time on useless projects.

12All that wicked people want is to find evil things to do, but the righteous stand firm.

13The wicked are trapped by their own words, but honest people get themselves out of trouble.

14Your reward depends on what you say and what you do; you will get what you deserve.

15Stupid people always think they are right. Wise people listen to advice.

16When a fool is annoyed, he quickly lets it be known. Sensible people will ignore an insult.

17When you tell the truth, justice is done, but lies lead to injustice.

18Thoughtless words can wound as deeply as any sword, but wisely spoken words can heal.

19A lie has a short life, but truth lives on for ever.

20Those who plan evil are in for a rude surprise, but those who work for good will find happiness.

21Nothing bad happens to righteous people, but the wicked have nothing but trouble.

22The LORD hates liars, but is pleased with those who keep their word.

23Sensible people keep quiet about what they know, but stupid people advertise their ignorance.

24Hard work will give you power; being lazy will make you a slave.

25Worry can rob you of happiness, but kind words will cheer you up.

26The righteous person is a guide to his friend, but the path of the wicked leads them astray.

27If you are lazy, you will never get what you are after, but if you work hard, you will get a fortune.

28Righteousness is the road to life; wickedness is the road to death.

Living in the Light

1Since you are God's dear children, you must try to be like him. 2Your life must be controlled by love, just as Christ loved us and gave his life for us as a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice that pleases God.

3Since you are God's people, it is not right that any matters of sexual immorality or indecency or greed should even be mentioned among you. 4Nor is it fitting for you to use language which is obscene, profane, or vulgar. Rather you should give thanks to God. 5You may be sure that no one who is immoral, indecent, or greedy (for greed is a form of idolatry) will ever receive a share in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.

6Do not let anyone deceive you with foolish words; it is because of these very things that God's anger will come upon those who do not obey him. 7So have nothing at all to do with such people. 8You yourselves used to be in the darkness, but since you have become the Lord's people, you are in the light. So you must live like people who belong to the light, 9for it is the light that brings a rich harvest of every kind of goodness, righteousness, and truth. 10Try to learn what pleases the Lord. 11Have nothing to do with the worthless things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light. 12(It is really too shameful even to talk about the things they do in secret.) 13And when all things are brought out to the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed; 14for anything that is clearly revealed becomes light. That is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,

and rise from death,

and Christ will shine on you.”

15So be careful how you live. Don't live like ignorant people, but like wise people. 16Make good use of every opportunity you have, because these are evil days. 17Don't be fools, then, but try to find out what the Lord wants you to do.

18Do not get drunk with wine, which will only ruin you; instead, be filled with the Spirit. 19Speak to one another with the words of psalms, hymns, and sacred songs; sing hymns and psalms to the Lord with praise in your hearts. 20In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, always give thanks for everything to God the Father.

Wives and Husbands

21Submit yourselves to one another because of your reverence for Christ.

22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For a husband has authority over his wife just as Christ has authority over the church; and Christ is himself the Saviour of the church, his body. 24And so wives must submit completely to their husbands just as the church submits itself to Christ.

25Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it. 26He did this to dedicate the church to God by his word, after making it clean by washing it in water, 27in order to present the church to himself in all its beauty — pure and faultless, without spot or wrinkle or any other imperfection. 28Men ought to love their wives just as they love their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself. 29(People never hate their own bodies. Instead, they feed them and take care of them, just as Christ does the church; 30for we are members of his body.) 31As the scripture says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.” 32There is a deep secret truth revealed in this scripture, which I understand as applying to Christ and the church. 33But it also applies to you: every husband must love his wife as himself, and every wife must respect her husband.

Reflect

Daily Reflection: John 15

Following his beautiful words on being united with God in love, and the famous parable of the true vine, the Lord abruptly changes the subject and turns to the world's hatred of the believer.

He reminds his followers of the opposition he himself had to face. And he goes on to describe faith as being called away from a world which hates him.

The readers of John’s Gospel in all probability lived at a time when, increasingly, believers were experiencing pushback from their non-Christian contemporaries. And there are plenty of places around the globe where modern-day disciples are experiencing a similar reality, first-hand.

But what are we to make of all of this, if we live in a society that tends to respond to the Gospel with apathy rather than outright aggression?  Perhaps the answer lies in verse 21: ‘They do not know him who sent me.' Our culture’s ignorance seems to be at the root of its unresponsiveness. And so, while we’re unlikely to face out-and-out hatred or persecution, perhaps our challenge is, not to stand and stare at the wall of apparent indifference but to take courage from Jesus’ closing words (verses 26–27):

‘The Spirit of truth who comes from the Father will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me ...’

Pray

Pray

Lord, give me courage to tell others about you and trust in the power of your Spirit to do the rest.

Bringing the Bible to life

Bible Society, Stonehill Green, Westlea, Swindon, SN5 7DG. Registered charity 232759