These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
It is impossible for a Christ-less world to love the things of Christ. It is impossible for that world to have love without Love itself. Jesus has chosen us out of the world, and we stand beside Him as being hated and rejected, but that’s okay, because He loves us. We seek His approval and acceptance. We give allegiance to Him and seek His favor. And we bring His love to the world around us.
Why are we to love one another? Because the love of Christ is so radically different than the love of the world. The love of the world is conditional. The world only loves its own and those who are of the world. And it hates what is of God. We are not to follow that path or that pattern, but we are to love with the love of Christ. And that is a love that loves the sinner, the lowly, and the unworthy. It is a love that overlooks outward appearance and status and loves the soul that was created by God.
We as Christians live in a world that will not embrace us or our Lord or what we believe in. But we are to love that world with the love of Christ despite their hatred of us. And we show love to our brethren because no one else is going to. May we be united as God’s people not as a force opposed to those who don’t believe with an “us against them” mentality, but united in God’s mission to see all come to know Him and to believe on His Son.
What Jesus calls us to stands in sharp contrast to the ways of the world. Life in Christ is built on truth and love, not hate and lies. We stand by faith in Christ, not based on our own merit. We seek to serve, not to be served. We look forward with hope, not dread, for what is yet to come. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. We won’t always have a reward here for doing the right thing. But we can trust that Jesus knows what we endure during our time here and He has something prepared for us. In the meantime, we have His love upon us and His command to bring that love into a world that hates.