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2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. 3 And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.

 

Verse 2 gives the reason for the warning in verse 1: people who persecute believers never truly knew God in a personal way. Persecution is the stark reality that believers will face.

2 They will put you out of the synagogues;

First, our Lord warned the apostles of a present threat; He informed these followers of Christ that religious opposition would put them “out of the synagogue.” The synagogue was more than a religious institution because many other community activities took place there. To be put out of the synagogue had severe societal implications. Those ostracized from the synagogue became public pariahs.

yes, the time is coming

The apostles needed to come to grips with the fact that they would face persecution, even martyrdom, from religious sources (Re 2:9; 3:9). This would occur within weeks after Jesus’ crucifixion when they began their ministry.

that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service [religious service].

Early Christians were indeed cast out of synagogues and put to death (Acts 7:59; 9:1-4, 22, 34; 12:2). The people doing thought that they served God in doing so (Php 3:6).

3 And these things they will do to you

The “these things” are persecution and death to which Jesus just referred. The words “will do” indicate that it is a certainty that this would happen to them.

because they have not known the Father nor Me.

The reason apostate Jews and others would persecute believers is that they never personally knew the Father or Jesus (Jn 15:21). People cannot know one without the other. These persecutors were religious but lost.

PRINCIPLE:

The enemies of Christ are often deluded by religious radicalism.

APPLICATION:

We can trace the origin of religious hostility to believers to its true source—lack of genuine or personal experience with God. Anything other than that is satanic religion. Religion often attaches pious motives to persecution of others.

Prosperity is not the mark of God’s approval. Many believers in history have not only experienced persecution but death for being faithful to our Lord. God will honor those who give their all to Him.

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