“After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him.” (John 7:1)
As we begin John 7, we see that the smoldering hatred the Jewish religious and political leaders had for Jesus begins to blaze into a full-fledged inferno. As a Christian lyricist put it several years ago about God’s love, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going.” What is true concerning God’s love for sinners is also true concerning sinners hatred for God.
The culmination of this hatred for Jesus will be in the immediate aftermath of His raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:45-57). The Jewish leaders and ruling authorities will begin to plot on how to kill Jesus. This will eventually result in His crucifixion. How ironic that this would be the Father’s eternal and sovereign plan.
It is probably best to note at this point that the world’s hatred for Jesus continues to this day and extends to His followers. Jesus said in John 15:18-25, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but 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 master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.”
I find it so troubling in my spirit when I witness pastors and churches, even whole denominations, develop a ministry vision attempting to get the fallen world to like them and to like Jesus. The result is a soft-soap peddling of a watered down gospel which does not save, but rather makes people feel good. This results in a perspective, popular in the 1970’s, which says, “I’m okay, you’re okay.” Or as another church has as their motto: “Come join us. Where it’s okay to not be okay.” No! As fallen sinners facing the wrath of a holy, almighty God (Romans 1:18), we’re not okay, and it is not okay to not be okay. Okay?
What sinners need is the biblical Jesus who came to die a substitutionary death on the cross for sinners like you and me. Sinners who were in need of salvation because they were destined for the judicial punishment from a righteous God. Why were we destined for God’s righteous wrath. It is because our sins were crimes against God, which alienated us against God and resulted in a debt before God which we could not pay.
The Gospel says that the eternal God who exists, and who will punish sin, has provided the only way available to be delivered from His wrath. The only way to be saved from sin’s penalty, power and eventual presence is through faith alone in the substitutionary atonement, resurrection and imputed righteousness provided by Jesus Christ alone. This is the gospel of which the Apostle John has labored to explain through his account of the life of Jesus Christ. It is a gospel of grace alone which cannot and must not be watered down in order to placate the masses, resulting in them not hearing the truth about themselves and about Jesus Christ.
Resolve today to not compromise the gospel that (1) God exists; (2) Sin exists; (3) Salvation from sin exists; (4) One Savior exists and Jesus Christ is He and He alone.
Repent of your sins and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior today.
Soli deo Gloria!