“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you....if they persecuted me, they will also persecute you” These are the opening words of our reading this Sunday at Unichurch from John 15. I think it is easy for us to forget in Australia that these words are true.
The picture above is terrifying evidence that they are. It is a photo of a Christian woman in Indonesia who was brutally attacked because of her faith in Jesus. The video below is even more harrowing - it is about the effect of persecution on children. It is very upsetting. But let’s be clear - this is a live issue for christians much closer to home too. I know there are people in our church family who have faced sustained opposition from their families to them being Christians; I know there are others who risk imprisonment in their home country because they follow Jesus; I know there are many who have lost friends or been bullied or excluded by their peers because they follow Jesus. This is not an academic issue even here in beautiful safe Melbourne. So I can’t wait to hear what Jesus has to say to us from John 15 about why this stuff happens. I also want to hear his very precious promise of a “Helper who he will send to us from the Father” in the face of opposition.