“BUT this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.”
Very frequently we find in the New Testament references to the Old Testament. Jesus came to fulfill all that the law and the prophets had foretold of him. The new dispensation of the gospel could not be manifested until all the old dispensation of the law, every jot and tittle of it, had been fulfilled. Here, in the words of our text, Jesus says that “their law,” the Jewish or Mosaic law, declared that he, Jesus, should be hated without a cause by the Jews. In order that this declaration of “their law” should be fulfilled, as well as everything else in that law, it was necessary for Jesus to perform works among them that none other had ever done. His doing these works among them brought into evidence their hatred toward him, time Fulfilling the Scripture that had long before said that they should hate him. This Scripture thus fulfilled is to be found in Psalms xxxv. 19, and in Psalms lxix. 4. The former reads: “Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me; neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.” The latter reads: “They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head.” David, by inspiration, is writing in these Psalms of Jesus. Jesus, coming afterward, caused all to be done that had been foretold of him, This hatred of Jesus lay dormant in the Jewish nation and needed something to provoke it into evidence. This provocation was Jesus’ doing the works which no other man did. He did these works purposely to bring out the fact that the Jewish world hated him. We might, perhaps, wonder why it was necessary for this hatred to come into exercise; but certainly the Jews never would have crucified Jesus had they not hated him, and had Jesus not been crucified there never would have been salvation for any of God’s elect. The Jews were no different in their nature from all the rest of mankind. Every one by nature hates the truth of God as it is in Jesus. The reason of this is because human nature was so fashioned in the very beginning of man’s existence in the world, in such a way that it is impossible for human nature to be in love with God and godliness. The carnal mind is enmity against God. The things of God are not known by the natural man, neither can they be known by him, for spiritual things can be discerned only by the Spirit. Thus the works which Jesus did among the Jews in that day brought into exercise the hatred that l already existed against him among them. Should Jesus come back again on earth as a man as he was then and again do those works, men to-day would hate him as men did then. There is no change in human nature since those days, and this nature is just as corrupt and just as opposed to Jesus as it ever was. Jesus had done many wonderful works in that Jewish nation: he had raised the dead, healed divers diseases, opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped the ears of the deaf, calmed tempests, fed multitudes, forgiven sins, preached his gospel to the poor. All these works had he done among them; they had seen these works; they had in consequence not believed him, but had hated both him and his Father. No matter how Wonderfully God may manifest his power in our environment, in the circumstances and conditions about us, this will never bring about saving belief in God. Not until God, by the operation of his Spirit within us, executes the work of our regeneration, will we believe in him unto the saving of our souls. They hated him without a cause, in that Jesus was holy, harmless and undefiled; there was no guile in him; not the shadow of a fault or of a flaw of any kind could be found in him. He was God’s Lamb Without blemish. No reason in him why they should hate him. Neither could they give any reason why they did hate him. When finally they accused him before Pilate, not being able to bring any true or just charge against him, they swore to lies and thus perjured themselves in order to accomplish his death. All this had to be just as it was in order to bring about the death of Christ and the salvation of his people, and this hatred of Jesus by the Jews was just as much a part of God’s eternal purpose and plan as was anything else connected with Christ and his people. But predestination could not be given by the Jews as a cause why they hated him, for the Jews knew nothing about predestination, since they were blind to that as well as all other parts of God’s counsel. Not knowing anything about it, it could not be a motive actuating them to hate him. Therefore, they hated him and knew not why they hated him. When finally asked to make their charges against Jesus, and to prove them, as we have said before, they resorted to lies to establish their case, showing they were all the time hating him without a cause, that is, without knowing why they hated him.
Requested by brother Walter Mordecai, of Vernon, Alabama. L.
Elder H. H. Lefferts
Signs of the Times
Volume 84, No. 19.
October 1, 1916