By Author & Blogger Tim Challies
There is no source of comfort as true or as good as God’s book, the Bible. For millennia, God’s people have turned to its pages to find solace, to find hope and encouragement. Sometimes comfort is found in unexpected places, in unlikely words. I found it this morning in a simple sentence written by Jesus’s dear friend John: “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you” (1 John 3:13).
Every Christian has endured times when we have been hated, when we have faced the scorn, the fists, or the swords of those opposed to God. We who put our faith in Jesus agree to bear the cross of Jesus. That cross comes with inevitable suffering and shame. We who follow a hated Savior cannot be surprised when we experience a measure of his suffering, when we bear a measure of his shame.
But why? Why are we hated? Why is it that we should be not surprised when the world turns against us?
Because Cain hated Abel. Just one verse earlier John has spoken of these two brothers and asked why one murdered the other. Cain murdered Abel “because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.” Abel’s goodness exposed Cain’s badness. Abel’s righteousness convicted Cain of his unrighteousness. Abel’s love for God silently declared Cain’s disregard. Cain responded with the ultimate manifestation of hatred—he murdered his own brother.