Monday, December 04, 2017

John 16:1-4

I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith.
For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God.
3 This is because they have never known the Father or me. 
Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.

We are reading through the Gospels this fall. Today's reading is John 16. Here Jesus warns of the mistreatment His followers can expect. He disarms our fears by noting the most important things. 
If the Spirit is within, there is no reason to fear. In fact, the church will thrive under persecution. Yet as human beings we are obsessed with power and political prominence as a means to influence the culture. 
As dual citizens of both God's Kingdom and this kingdom, we have an obligation to strive for justice and freedom through the transforming power of the Spirit in people’s lives. Rather than exerting temporal power, the real work of the Kingdom often thrives under fierce attack and opposition. 
Jesus warns his followers that sometimes persecution will arise, not just from those who are clearly against the gospel, but from those within the sphere of religion, who think they are doing the godly thing, but who clearly "have never known the Father or [Jesus]" 16:3.
In this day and age of confusion, selfishness, empty rhetoric, persecution in many places, and rejection of God, Jesus calls us to know him, to walk with him, to remain rooted and grounded in him, to trust him.

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