In the beginning of the fifth chapter of the gospel of John, Jesus healed a man that had been an invalid for 38 years. The religious leaders persecuted Jesus because he had healed this man on the Sabbath.
In John Chapter 8, Jesus tells the people who He is, and they reject what He says and pick up stones to throw at Him.
Jesus opens the eyes of a man born blind in Chapter 9 and in Chapter 10 they tell Him He has a demon.
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, the religious leaders said, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.” (John 12:19).
Now they wanted to kill Jesus and Lazarus.
What caused these people, especially their leaders, to have such hatred for Jesus?
1. They were jealous of Him.
2. Jesus exposed them for who they were.
3. The leaders were afraid of losing their power.
4. Jesus was doing the work of God (miracles, signs, teaching the poor, showing compassion for the lost, etc.).
5. The people were following Jesus.
6. They hated the claims He made.
7. He was a threat to their religious system.
8. He was a threat to their way of life.
9. They did not like who He socialized with.
Toward the end of Jesus’ mission that God sent Jesus from heaven to accomplish, the religious leaders’ hatred of Him caused them to want Him dead.
We read in the gospels about the mock trial of Jesus by these leaders. It was repeated by Pilot, a governor in the Roman empire.
Pilot listened to the lies of these Jesus haters and recognized their envy was behind their hatred of Him.
Pilot’s desire for political security and the religious leaders’ hatred of Christ led them to crucify the Savior of the world.
Hatred can cause people to lie, cheat, persecute, engage in name calling and yes, even kill. Those who practice such things are under the influence of Satan and need to have a change of heart.
We can see hatred in the world we live in, especially the political sphere, and it is causing a lot of turmoil among us instead of unity.
Matthew 5:43 — Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”