Christ's Witness Against Sin
John 7:7
The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

The "world," which is here affirmed by Jesus to have hated him, is not to be distinguished from the "Church," if that expression may be applied to those who professed to receive the revelation and to do the will of God. For amongst our Lord's enemies, the foremost were certainly the men who were at the head of the theocracy, and whose sins Jesus most severely censured. From this significant fact, people professedly religious, and even people who sincerely believe themselves to be religious, may take warning, and may learn not to trust in their outward religiousness, as if that in itself sufficed to secure them against identification with the sinful world.


1. By his language. Meek and gracious as he was towards such sinners as were penitent, Jesus was unsparing in his denunciations of hardened and hypocritical offenders against the Law of God. Against falsehood, covetousness, cruelty, and licentiousness, the Son of man raised his voice in indignant protest and censure. And against such sins, when cloaked by a religious profession, he was severe with a severity unexampled even in Scripture.

2. By his conduct. In many cases there is no protest against evil so effective as an upright and holy life. This protest was ever offered by our Lord; it was natural and habitual to him. The calm dignity with which our Lord lived amidst formalists and dissemblers could not be unnoticed either by friends or foes, and by his foes it was felt as a rebuke and a condemnation.


1. This hatred evinced a moral warfare within human nature. On the one hand, the conscience of sinners concurred in the rebukes uttered by the holy Saviour; on the other hand, their selfishness and pride would not submit to these rebukes. Thus there arose, as in such circumstances there ever arises, an inner conflict. And in order to repress the voice of conscience, sinners often hardened themselves against its expostulations by giving themselves more resolutely over into the power of evil.

2. This hatred led to calumny and slander against the holy Christ. Only thus can we account for the absurd and wicked and scandalous language used concerning Jesus. His enemies called him a sinner, a deceiver, and declared that he was possessed by a demon, by Beelzebub. If he had left their sins unrebuked, and had humoured their prejudices, he might have secured the adherence and support of the Jewish leaders; but the upright course he took in dealing with them brought down upon him their malice and their hatred.

3. This hatred was the motive of the plot which issued in the apprehension and death of Jesus. It appears that the hostility of the priests and rulers against Jesus of Nazareth was excited by his pure and spiritual teaching, which was felt to be a rebuke to their formality and hypocrisy, and by his denunciations of their ambition and covetousness. His enemies felt that there was a likelihood of his undermining their influence over the common people. This led to the resolution to compass his death by means however foul.

III. THE WORLD'S HATRED BECAME THUS THE OCCASION OF THE EVENT WHICH WROUGHT THE WORLD'S DELIVERANCE FROM ITS SIN. The wisdom of God is often manifested in the bringing of good out of evil. The most stupendous and glorious instance of this wisdom was afforded in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. He testified against the world's evil; the hatred of the world was thus inflamed against him; this hatred led to the apprehension, the condemnation, and the death of the Holy One and Just; and his death was God's method of vanquishing the world's sin, and of saving mankind from spiritual destruction and ruin. - T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

WEB: The world can't hate you, but it hates me, because I testify about it, that its works are evil.

Jesus in Relation to Time
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