May 26

Part 62: Not of This World

Todd Pruitt |Series: The Gospel of John |John 15:18-16:4

As Jesus and the 11 remaining disciples make their way to the Garden of Gethsemane, he continues to prepare them for what they will experience in the next 24 hours and well beyond. As stated in an earlier message, the Farewell Discourse can be divided into six parts with a prologue (13:31-38) and an epilogue (16:25-33). With each part of this final body of teaching, Jesus significant themes all designed to prepare his disciples for the crises they are about to face. Here Jesus warns them about the way they will be treated by the world as they are sent forth as apostles.

In the previous two paragraphs, the Lord gave a powerful illustration comparing the Christian life to a vine and its branches. It is a portrait of union with Christ in which believers live fruitful lives as they draw their lives from Christ. He then spoke to life among the branches, specifically, the necessity of his people to love one another.

But, now, Jesus prepares them for the various crises they will face as the world opposes them in the same ways that it opposed their Lord. It is a universal message for all Christians who in one way or another will face the world’s malediction for the sake of Christ. In the west, Christianity has enjoyed a favored status in our culture for several centuries. But the sun seems to be setting on the Christian period of Western history. It may well be that Christians like us in the western world will have to turn to these words more often than now we do.

In the middle of this warning, however, Jesus repeats his promise of the coming Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth (15:26-27). Like Jesus and the apostles, the church will face the aggressive opposition of the world. Therefore we, the church, must remember that our first calling is to make Christ known by the power of his word. And it is this testimony of Christ that the Holy Spirit will empower and make effective.

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