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Jottings

On the night of the betrayal, the Lord spoke of how the world would treat His disciples:

"If the world hateth you, ye know that it hath hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love its own: but because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, A servant [slave] is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for My name's sake, because they know not Him that sent Me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no excuse for their sin" (John 15.18-22).

The Lord's instruction to His disciples is clear: "Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; that ye may be sons of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust" (Matthew 5.44,45). How many sinners have been turned to God by the good deeds of God's children! God loves the sinner, but He hates his sin. None would have been saved had God dealt with men according to their works. Paul the apostle is a standing example of God's mercy. He said before Agrippa, "I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And this I also did in Jerusalem: and I both shut up many of the saints in prisons, having received authority from the chief priests, and when they were put to death, I gave my vote against them" (Acts 26.9,10). Yet he was one of the greatest sufferers for the Lord and His saints when he was converted. Sin entered the world through the sin of Adam (Romans 5.12), and because of sin the world hates God, hates Christ, the Son of God, and hates the followers of Christ. We are not of the world because we have been chosen by Christ out of the world. If we were of the world, the world would love its own. Though we live in a world that God loves, yet that world hates the God who loves it. Such is the strange perversity of sinful human nature.

The Lord said, "He that believeth on Me, believeth not on Me, but on Him that sent Me. And He that beholdeth Me beholdeth Him that sent Me" (John 12.44,45). Thus we see that men's attitude to Christ reveals men's attitude to God, whether it is in the matter of believing, beholding, or of hating Him. Men may speak of God and of the Most High and at the same time be by-passing Christ, and yet think that their words are pleasing to God. I remember speaking to a solicitor on the matter of men praying to God, and I said that it was impossible to reach God except through Christ. He said that he never knew that. I said that the Lord stated it quite plainly in John 14, when He said, "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by Me." The solicitor said that he had never heard that before.

The Lord spoke of the works that He had done during the days of His ministry': "If I had not done among them the works which none other did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both Me and My Father." The Lord links His words and His works together. Their refusal to believe the testimony of His works, which were proof of the divine character of His words, left them no excuse for their sin, for they had seen in what He said and did both Himself and Father, and hated them both.

Moses made his choice to suffer affliction with the people of God, for he accounted the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. Many others like Moses chose the path of suffering rather than that of the praises of men. We too may follow that in our time, by going forth to the Lord without the camp bearing His reproach (Hebrews 11.25,26; 13.13). But the word in the Psalms was fulfilled' in Christ, for they

hated Him without a cause.