John 15:17 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentObserve here, 1. With what frequency and importunity our Lord inculcates and presses the duty of mutual love upon his disciples: I command you to love one another.
It denotes the great importance of the duty, and the great averseness and backwardness of our hearts to the performance of it.
And if we consider the disciples as apostles and ministers of the gospel, it intimates to us the necessity of mutual love amongst the dispensers of the gospel, as conducing exceedingly to the welfare and benefit of the church of God, over which he hath set them.
Observe, 2. The argument which our Saviour makes use of to press his disciples in general, and his ministers and ambassadors in particular, to love each other: and that is, because the world would certainly hate them.
Learn hence, That the world's hatred of the members and ministers of Christ, is, and ought to be, esteemed by them a strong argument to excite and persuade them to love one another; for this is subjoined as an argument to press mutual love, that we are sure to meet with the world's hatred.
Observe, 3. The several arguments by way of encouragement which Christ propounds to comfort his members and ministers against the world's hatred.
The first argument is taken from his own lot and usage; when here, in the world, he met with the very same before them: The world hated me before it hated you.
Learn hence, That hatred and persecution from the world need not seem hard to the saints, if they consider what a stock Christ had before them upon him: he is the prime object of the world's hatred and they who hate his members much, do hate him more, because of their likeness to him and resemblance of him.
A second argument of comfort under the world's hatred is this, that it will evidence they are not of the world, but chosen out of the world. Because ye are not the world, but I have chosen you our of the world, therefore the world hates you Joh 15:19.
Hence learn, 1. That the children of God, though in the world, yet they are not of the world, they have not the spirit of the world in them, nor is the conversation of the world led by them.
2. That the differnce betwixt them that are of the world, and those that are chosen out of the world, is of God's making: I have chosen you out of the world.
3. That such Christians as are separated from the world in judgment, affection, and practice, must for that reason expect to be hated and persecuted by the world: Because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hates you.
The third argument for consolation and support under the world's hatred, is taken from our relation to Christ, as servants to a master, Remember that the servant is not greater than his Lord Joh 15:20 : as if Christ had said, "Is is equal that you should expect better treatment than myself, either as to your persons or ministry, or that you should expect that the world should better receive your doctrine than it did mine before you.
Learn hence, That neither the members nor ministers of Christ can nor ought to expect better treatment in and from the world, than their master found before them: The servant is not above his master, nor greater than his Lord.
A fourth argument to support them under the burden of the world's hatred, is taken from the goodness of the cause for which they were to suffer: namely, for Christ's name's sake, All these things will they do unto you for my name's sake Joh 15:21.
Hence learn, 1. That it is the duty of all, but especially of the ministers of Christ, to own the name of Christ, to stand up in defence of his name and truth, his glory and honour, what opposition soever they meet with for the same.
Learn, 2. That the great quarrel of the world against the disciples of Christ, is for the name of Christ; whatever may be pretended, this is the ground of the quarrel.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.