The World Hates Jesus
Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. You go up to this feast. I am not yet going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee. But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?” (John 7:6-11, NKJV)
Jesus had chosen not to go to the feast with His brothers, or to show up to the festival publicly. His brothers could go anytime they wanted – they weren’t in any danger. The Jewish leadership didn’t have it out for them like they did for Jesus.
But if Jesus was such a good guy, why did, and does, the world really hate Jesus? He said,
The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. (John 7:7)
Jesus testified of the world’s wickedness. He is the Light of the world who exposes the darkness. He said in John 3,
And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:19-21)
The light of Jesus exposes the darkness of the world. Are you aligned with Jesus on this point? Do you call evil, “evil” and good, “good?” It is easy to hedge your bets in this area. Jesus did not. This is why the world hates Jesus.
Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Be warned, calling evil, “evil” is a sure-fire way to make you unpopular. When you dare to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness, there will be plenty of people that hate you for it.
“It is better to incur the world’s hatred, by testifying against its wickedness, than gain its goodwill by going down the stream with it.” Matthew Henry
So when you do make a stand for righteousness, you’ll be in good company! When the Galatians got upset with Paul, he asked,
Have I, therefore, become your enemy because I tell you the truth? (Galatians 4:16)
If you refuse to compromise the truth of God so that people can feel good about their sin, you’ll make some enemies. But you’ll also provoke others to righteous living before God.
7:10-11 Where Is He?
Although He was being obedient to the law of God which commanded that He show up at the feast, Jesus took the low road with a low profile.
But the Jews knew He had to be there. Though they outwardly hated Him, they knew in their hearts that He was righteous and would obey the Law of God that commanded He be there. So they’re looking around, saying, “Where is He?”
You might get flack from folks at school or work for living righteously. They might hate you and come down on you for your faith, but inwardly, they know in their hearts that you’re doing right. And you might spend ten years being put down for your Christianity, but one day, when someone has a spiritual crisis, who are they going to turn to? You, because you’ve faithfully endured and shown by living righteously that you know Jesus Christ personally. That’s why Peter tells us to live righteously and be prepared,
But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. (1 Peter 3:14-16)
How glorious it is when an unbeliever says, “Hey, Christian. Tell me about this Jesus.”