I. "THESE THINGS HAVE I SPOKEN."
A. What things?
1. You are going to be hated by the world.
2. You will be persecuted.
B. Why did He tell them these things?
1. So that they would not be stumbled or offended when it happened.
2. He did not want these things to catch them off guard.
C. For the most part, the disciples were expecting the kingdom to be set up at any moment.
1. They were expecting positions of glory and honor in the world.
2. They were even disputing among themselves as to just which one of them would be the greatest.
D. Basically, Jesus is saying that the road will lead to glory, but that it would not be a glory road.
1. You are going to be persecuted and hated, not honored and loved.
2. Many people have false expectations of the Christian life.
E. We are living in a world that is in rebellion against God.
1. Men have chosen the life of the flesh over the will of God.
2. I think that the recent elections have amply proved this.
F. Somehow we are still shocked by man's deliberate choice of evil.
1. I somehow feel that given the choice of good or evil that good would be the overwhelming choice.
2. History shows that this is not the case, never has been.
3. The world hated Jesus and still does.
4. They put Jesus to death and millions of His followers.
5. I am shocked at the sale of Madonna's book on sex.
6. I am shocked at the broad acceptance of the homosexuals.
7. I am shocked that the homosexuals can launch a full scale attack against the Boy Scouts of America, and the whole nation not rise up in righteous indignation.
8. Jesus speaks of those who say concerning Him, "We will not have this man to reign over us."
G. How can these things be?
1. The Bible speaks of Satan bringing a strong delusion.
2. It speaks of the god of this world blinding their eyes so that they cannot see.
3. Satan is in control of the world and the kingdoms of this world.
a. He offered to give them to Jesus.
b. He will give them to the anti-christ.
II. "THEY WILL PUT YOU OUT OF THE SYNAGOGUES. THE TIME WILL COME WHEN THEY THAT KILL YOU WILL THINK THAT THEY ARE DOING GOD A SERVICE."
A. We were already told in the story of the man who was healed by Jesus who was born blind, that the Jews had determined that anyone who confessed that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue.
1. This to a Jew was equivalent of being excommunicated.
2. It was tantamount to being cut off from God.
3. We are told that there were many who believed on Jesus yet secretly for fear of the Jews.
B. Paul in persecuting the church felt that he was pleasing God.
1. As he was speaking of his credits as a Jew he declared, "Concerning zeal, persecuting the church."
2. We wonder at just how blind and deceived people can be.
3. Jesus said that if the blind are leading the blind, both of them will fall into the ditch.
C. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, "Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake, rejoice and be exceeding glad, for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you."
III. "AND THESE THINGS WILL THEY DO UNTO YOU."
A. He is not saying that they might do these things, but that they will do these things.
1. The book of Acts records for us the death of Stephen at the hands of those religious leaders in the Jewish council.
2. Acts also tells us that Herod Agrippa stretched out his hand against the church and had James, who was the brother of John, beheaded. An early church writer Clemens Alexandrinus tell us that as James was led to the place of his execution, that his accuser was brought to repentance by the extraordinary courage and undauntedness of James and fell at his feet requesting his pardon. He made a profession of faith in Jesus and was beheaded with James.
3. Philip was scourged, thrown in prison, and afterward crucified.
4. Matthew carried the gospel to Parthia and Ethiopia, and in Ethiopia he suffered martyrdom being slain with a halfbred in the city of Nadabah.
5. James, the less, who wrote the epistle, called after his name, at the age of 94 was beaten and stoned by the Jews, and finally had his brains dashed out with a fuller's club.
6. Matthias was stoned at Jerusalem and beheaded.
7. Andrew was crucified on a cross, the two ends of which were fixed transversely in the ground. Hence the name St. Andrew's cross.
8. Mark was dragged to pieces by the people of Alexandria, at the great solemnity of Serapis their idol.
9. Peter was condemned to death and crucified according to some early writers at Rome. Jerome tells us that Peter requested to be crucified with his feet up and his head down as he was not worthy to be crucified as his Lord.
10. Paul was led by the Roman soldiers outside of Rome to the place of his execution, where after prayers he gave his neck to the sword.
11. Jude was crucified at Edessa.
12. Bartholomew carried the gospel to several countries, he translated the gospel of Matthew into the language of India. There he was cruelly beaten and crucified.
13. Thomas carried the gospel to Parthia and India, where he so aroused the pagan priests that they thrust him through with a spear.
14. Luke was said to have been hanged on an olive tree by the idolatrous priests of Greece.
15. Simon Zealots preached the gospel in Africa, and even in Britain, where he was crucified.
16. John was cast into a cauldron of boiling oil. When he escaped by a miracle without injury, Domition then banished him to the Isle of Patmos.
B. Why will they do these things? Because they know not the Father, nor Me.
C. The true church of Jesus Christ has suffered persecution through the years, and most of the persecution has come from religious zealots. Paul said concerning the Jews that they had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.