“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.”

John 16:1-3


Shortly before he died, Jesus strengthened his disciples with his discourse in John 16. Try putting yourself in the disciples’ place as they listen to their Master at this critical time. Jesus might be telling us similar things today.

He might tell you not to lose faith when people who once treated you well start disrespecting you instead. When they despise you because of your closeness to Jesus. When they turn you out of your place of worship. When they detest you for the Christlike love you show. When they slander you out of jealousy.

Even as he spoke to his disciples, Jesus knew that he would be arrested the very next day. He would be abandoned by friends and tortured on the cross. And yet, we see him here, considering the well-being of others. Though he himself needed peace, he tells his disciples that he wants them to have peace. (vs 33)

Consider how it must have been for Jesus to go from being a sought-after rabbi—a healer and teacher—to being treated worse than a criminal. He lost almost everything. Even his garments were taken from him. Despite that, he willingly went to the cross, knowing that this was why his Father had sent him—to save mankind from sin.

If you were to be persecuted, could you stand up against such evil? Could you confidently hold fast to your faith in Christ? It might not be so easy to stay strong if you were to suffer under the attacks of sinners. It might not be so easy to show your unwavering conviction in Christ’s ability to save you from sin.

One of the most painful experiences we as followers of Christ can have is to lose the respect of friends because of our belief in him. Would you be able to find it in yourself to keep your eyes on Jesus and follow him to the cross?

How strong is your faith?