The only thing most people remember about the short-lived XFL football league was Rod Smart, a running back for the Las Vegas Outlaws. Rather, they remember his nickname “He Hate Me” which was emblazoned on the back of his jersey.
If I played for the XFL, my jersey would say “Ain’t Nobody Hate Me.” Which is probably too long a name considering my shoulders are about as broad as my 13-year-old daughter’s. But the bigger problem is when my self-proclaimed popularity gets tackled by the Word of God:
“Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you,
for that is how their ancestors treated the false prophets.”
(Luke 6:26 NIV)
As Justin Taylor said in a recent blog post, one of Jesus’ clearest (and least popular) promises is that his people would be hated. Let that sink in for a second. He didn’t just say that believers would have fewer Facebook friends. He said hate … as in abhor, despise and loathe.
“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.
(John 15:18-19 ESV)
Jesus knows what is is to be hated. But I don’t. Maybe I’m “of the world” more than I’d like to admit. Maybe I’m not representing the Savior accurately enough to incite the disdain of a culture at war with the Prince of Peace.
What about you? Have you been confronted by the hatred of the world because of your love for Jesus? Tell me about it.