The hatred of the World and the
Promise of the Holy Spirit
I f the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world--therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'Servants are not greater than their master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. But they will do all these things 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 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 have sin. But now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. It was to fulfill the word that is written in their law, 'They hated me without a cause.' "When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning. "I have said these things to you to keep you from stumbling. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, an hour is coming when those who kill you will think that by doing so they are offering worship to God. And they will do this because they have not known the Father or me. But I have said these things to you so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you about them. "I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you.
The Hatred of the World and
the Promise of the Holy Spirit
The text is taken from the Gospel of John or as it is often just called, the Fourth Gospel. It was composed by an author who when looking intently into the mystery of Christ, encountered the deepest otherness. He saw a vast wave of life that grew and gathered momentum in the measureless ages of Divine Life and crashed on the shores of time in the person of Jesus Christ. The waters of that Divine Life undulate, ripple and flow throughout humanity. They are ˜living water which wells up into God’s life within us, Jn.7:37-39. In this Gospels understanding, Christian life is the emergence in time of the eternal movement of life within God. Therefore he writes of human love being the end point of divine love. As Father loves me, I love you, love one another Jn.13.34;15.12;17.26. Again, as I draw life from the Father, you draw life from me, Jn.6.57. And, as the Father sent Christ, he sends his disciples, Jn.13.20. The community is not to depart from this world but live in it reproducing the dynamic of the Father-Son relationship.
One could expect that a Christian living that life would seem a little different. Such a Christian would have values which share the horizons of God. In the words of Jesus, God transcends difference as he causes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the just and the unjust alike, Mt.5.45. Contrasts are made between God and the world. The world lives by difference. It is trapped by its own ideas. The world stands for views that are parochial, sectarian, unfree and selfish. Elsewhere Jesus says because you say ˜we know, Jn.9.41, you are condemned. God’s horizons are limitless and are a destabilizing threat to those who live in the narrow confines of the world. The fear, the questioning, the uncertainty that arises from this leads to a backlash of hatred against Jesus and all those who live God’s life.
We read of the Advocate. That is another name for the Holy Spirit. John’s Gospel makes no reference to special charismatic gifts or special manifestations such as speaking in tongues. The task of the Spirit is to focus our attention on Jesus and his teaching. This is an ongoing dynamic process as every generation in the Spirit draws out the implications of the Gospel message for its time. The evangelist is at pains to make the point that the Spirit’s witness is not independent of Jesus. It is rooted in the historical Christ working through those who were with Christ from the beginning.
This is the Story of Jesus drawn from the four Evangelists
Gospel passages accompanied by a number of brief commentaries