“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 15:19
There’s that little word again. There’s that “if”, “ei” in Greek. That particle of conditionality. Since this is the case, you can expect this to follow… So what is the case here? The case is whether we are of the world or not of the world. And it just appears as though things of like kind, things of like mind, will naturally love each other.
That makes sense. God created things in kinds. He created the grass, the herb , the fruit tree, and they bore fruit after their own kind. And God created the sea creatures and fowls of the air after their own kind. And then God created the living creatures of the land after their own kind. He created them one like another, separate kinds, kinds that would choose their like kind to mate with and multiply upon the face of the earth.
But even before those kinds, God created another separation. He separated the light from the dark. But He only called the light good. So God was busy separating and dividing and joining together from the very beginning and I wonder how important that is for me to keep in my mind? Especially when reading today’s Word.
Now, man was different from the start. Man was not created after his own kind. Man was created after the image of God. “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26) And I wonder if that also has a tremendous amount of bearing on today’s Word?
“If you were of the world, the world would love his own.” Well, once we were all of this world. But not until the fall. Genesis tells us that we were of God. God loved His own. He still does. But after the fall, we became the world’s. We left His likeness for that of the created thing. We ran after another kind, a foreign kind. Each kind is comfortable and attracted to it’s own kind. We fit right in. But it is absolute separation from God. This is sin. This is living in sin.
Forget the idea of murder and stealing and treating people wrongly and lets get the right idea of sin. Sin is not worshipping our Creator. Sin is not recognizing the One who made you after His own likeness. Sin is ignoring the One who loves you most. Sin is turning your back on God.
But this is the good news to believers. Once you “were slaves of sin.” But “now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” “You who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” have been reconciled. “In these you too once walked, when you were living in them” but now you don’t because “now you have received mercy.”
“Since you are not of the world any longer, you can be guaranteed that the world will not love you like one of its own. You are not of the world any more. Something has changed. I chose you out of the world.” And it’s not just that You choose us, Jesus, which is an overwhelmingly wonderful truth in itself! But You choose us out of the world. You separate us from the world. We can’t have it both ways. I can’t have light and darkness. I can’t be like You and not be like You.
And here’s another little word. “You are not of the world…” “Of” in Greek is expressed by “ek”. Now, “ek” has to do with origin. But listen to what HELPS Word-Studies has to share about this little word. “Ek” “is one of the most under-translated (and therefore mis-translated) Greek propositions – often being confined to the meaning “by.” 1537 (ek) has a two-layered meaning (“out from and to”) which makes it out-come oriented (out of the depths of the source and extending to its impact on the object).”
Now I want to stop and take that in. “I have chosen you out of the world….” “I have chosen you out of the depths of the world. Not only that, out of the depths of My power and all that I AM, I have chosen you out of the world to be impacted by and in My glory and power and all that I AM.” I want to stop and think about the magnitude of what You have done for me and in me and the magnitude of what You want to do through me. It’s like this powerful out of leads into a just as powerful, no, a more powerful, into.
I’m not like the world any more. I’m a foreigner in this world. I’m different. I’m strange. (Which is actually funny because as I sit with You, Lord, right now, I’m preparing for a clowning event and sit here three fourths ready which is a little unusual looking!) I’m not it’s kind. I don’t fit in. I don’t relate.
But I’m not alone. Because now I relate to You. I relate to others who know You. And the world itself hates that difference in me because after You chose me out, I chose to follow You out. I chose to leave the world behind. And the world is a jealous entity. It’s not happy to let me go. It doesn’t care about me but it certainly doesn’t like it’s feelings hurt or to look like it is less than it is. It hates to lose. It hates to look wrong.
So, I can expect to be treated wrongly from this world that no longer understands me. But, on the other hand, I can expect You to continually love me and keep me and guide me and protect me. Here’s the whole point. My origin once was in the world, but now, my whole origin has changed. And that’s not something that is naturally possible. If I first existed in the world, then, naturally, that will always be my origin. But thanks to You, Jesus, my origin goes back to before the fall. You take my origin, my beginning of existence back to You in Your redemption. See, You paid the price to buy back that which was once Yours. My origin being the world, is actually a lie.
I’m not of the world any more. It is no longer my origin. It is not where I first found my existence. It is not where I began my eternity. You have brought me to the place where my eternity began in You. When I placed myself, my trust in You, and I was born again in You, You created me, just like in Genesis. Once I was in the world’s image, but now, I have been miraculously created in Your image. What a wonderful, freeing, and empowering truth! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come [!]” (2 Corinthians 5:17) (Exclamation added by me!)
Now, this is just a side note, Lord, but right now I am also just thinking how wonderfully blessed it is that all of Your Word counts and blends and just falls together. And I mean all of it. New Testament and Old Testament are all really wrapped up in one. It was never a different message. It just takes a new creation and letting You create new ways of seeing things in us. Well, they’re just new ways to us, but it’s always been the eternal way for You. I mean, it wasn’t only me that was led back to Genesis from John’s writings today. But a long time ago, it appears that Paul, by his statement, had been led back to Genesis also. I love Your Word, Lord, and I love how it is one like You are One.
Every day, Lord, make me to know You more. And every day, make me to understand who I am in You more. Thank You so much for preparing me for the rough times ahead and helping me to know how to look back on the rough times I’ve already passed through. Thank You for mapping out my path ahead of me and travelling the road first. Thank You for choosing me, and not just choosing me, but choosing me out of the world, and into You. Thank You for having the power to give me a new origin so that the world has absolutely no hold on me anymore. Thank You for giving me a way to understand the animosity toward me, the resentment, the walls, the toughness of it all. And I am so grateful that You love me as Your own because I am Your own. I mean, You’ve even made me after Your own image!
So let me display that image well. Let me glorify You in all I do. Whether I speak or I am silent, let me glorify You. Whether I work or I play, let me glorify You. Whether I clown or I’m just me, let me glorify You. Wherever I walk, let me walk with You and glorify You. Let me bear Your image well. Let Your love for me shine forth to others. Let them see what it is to be chosen by You. And let it become their heart’s desire to become chosen by You. Keep me strong in the midst of the hard stuff, because You are strong, and I’m in You. Therefore, You chose me to be strong too. Everything You can do, You can do in me! I am not of the world. I am of You. So let me live.