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20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

20 Remember the word that I said to you,

To support what He just said in the previous verse about the opposition the apostles will face after He ascends to heaven, Jesus asked them to remember a previous statement.

A servant is not greater than his master.’

This phrase harks back to John 13:16 where Jesus referred to humble service. Here the context is that believers will share in His sufferings. They cannot expect better treatment than their Lord.

If [assumed true] they persecuted Me,

It is clear that Jesus underwent much persecution. The “if” indicates that it was true that Jesus faced persecution during His ministry (first class condition).

they will also persecute you.

The apostles should not be surprised that they will undergo persecution just like Jesus did. It is an acknowledged fact that the followers of Christ will be persecuted.

If [assumed true] they kept My word,

Some people responded positively to Jesus’ teaching (1 Jn 4:6). The “if” indicates that it was true that some people embraced Jesus’ teaching (first class condition).

they will keep yours also.

People will respond positively to the apostle’s teaching just as they did Jesus’. There are those who respond positively to divine revelation.

PRINCIPLE:

Followers of Christ can expect the same treatment as the world gave to their Lord.

APPLICATION:

There is an inevitability in our association with Christ. What happened to Jesus will occur in our experience. People will hate believers because of their identification with Him and His message. The people of Jesus’ day hated Him because of His teaching.

When people minister they can expect two responses: (1) some will respond negatively to the message, they will not only reject what is said but will persecute the minister of the gospel for saying it; (2) and others will embrace the gospel message positively.

If we pursue the love of the world system, we will pay for it at the cost of our faithfulness to the Lord.

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