If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first


“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world,
the world hates you.”

Odd words for a savior. When Jesus talks about the world and hatred, who was he referring to? The world of that day, not unlike today, was concerned with itself. Rome was concerned with strengthening Roman elite and Judea was concerned with preserving itself. The world was concerned with itself in its present time and for those of that day. The struggle is for survival and a struggle for self and that can be struggle for personal personal or national gain. It is a constant battle to gain what you do not have, and then protect what you have gained. To belong to the world is to be bound by it, to be caught up in it, and to be unable to escape it. When Christ belonged to the world, and when he was bound to the world, he was three days in the grave. For Christ his objective was not to belong to the world, but to move from the world back to God.He was not caught up in the worlds rules and traditions and customs or its ways.His was not a slavery to earthly desire. His was a movement away from the corruptions of this world to ascend from this world back to the Father. In not following this world,in not obeying its treatises, he was hated.In looking at Jesus moving away from this world , and leading his disciples away from this world, that hatred by those so firmly entrenched in a worldly existence demonstrate their hostility at the crucifixion where they anchor Christ to a tree and place him in the ground. As they anchored Christ to the ground with the cross, those leaders also tried to anchor their citizens by the same intimidation, and force, and corruption of Gods perfect plan. As Jesus was bound to the earth in the grave, so too were countless others bound to their crosses of poverty, and intimidation, and laws. Jesus though  does not belong to this world, and deliberately removes the stone that locks him to the earth; he removes the stone sealing his grave and with that he is able to rise from this world and continue his ascent, while also guiding his disciples. Though hated he is not defeated, even by death; and in not being defeated Jesus can guide others on that same Journey. In not belonging to this world, Jesus is not an outcast shunned by the world, but one who escapes this world in refusing to be trapped. Those who wished to trap him and put him in his place were angry.In fleeing their grasp, he broke the grasp of Satan. In thinking of not belonging to this world, is it difficult to see the Resurrection as an escape from those(Satan) who wished to trap him? During the time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection his appearances were spontaneous and fragmentary. He was no longer bound by the world, yet also was definitely part of it to guide his followers away from it, and away from all that placed him three days in the earth. In conquering death and rising from the grave, Jesus brought life to them so that they too could continue their Journey. As they could continue their journey,in succession so too can people today. We too are lifted out of this world, and not belonging to the world is not a bad thing. It is not being an outcast from a favorable group. It rather is removing oneself from purely earthly concerns of the present time, and allowing for a journey to something better, a Journey back to Gods Kingdom. To simply belong to this world is a stagnant existence with no room for advancement, an existence with the best always behind you. To move from this world is dynamic,it is progressing forward towards everything God has planned for you. It is that ascent from earthly corruption towards God’s perfect plan.It is moving back to God.

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