John 15:17-21 – “I command these things to you, that you may love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his lord.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do to you for my name’s sake, because they don’t know him who sent me.”
Jesus promises that we will face persecution just as He did. If Jesus got in all kinds of trouble, and He is greater than we are, how do we think that by following Him we will avoid trouble in this world? It really isn’t logical to think that way.
We also read that since some people listened and followed Jesus, some will listen and follow Him through us as well. We can expect that as we do what Jesus commands, we will lead people to salvation. This really makes it all worth it, doesn’t it? Persecution is exchanged for eternal souls.
It can be shocking to see people who seem to have so much intelligence persecute Christians. The world has produced Nobel Prize winners that are clearly against the Bible and what it teaches while ignoring those who believe it. It really doesn’t make sense except that the world loves its own and continues to hate the real Jesus even today.
This kind of persecution is for Jesus sake, because those who persecute us are doing it because we believe in Jesus. This can be made to look innocent by re-defining who Jesus is and what He said. This can make it sound like certain people who “claim” to be Christians are bad people, but by redefining who Jesus is, they are actually causing persecution against those who believe and uphold the truth about who He is. It is important for us to remember that this kind of persecution is a sign that we are doing what is right. We should also pray for those who persecute us, because there was a time when we opposed Jesus before we were changed by Him.