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August 21 – Synagogue to Satan

“Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.” – 1 John 3:13

Scripture reading: John 15:18-25

Something we can easily do with a Bible passage is to not think of the situation in which it was written. We read our verse above and understand it, naturally enough, to refer to everything which is unbelieving as being against the Church. What’s not so obvious, though, is that John is speaking specifically of just one group amongst all those unbelievers out there.

From the Scripture reading and the title above, we have perhaps picked up who they are. We would know that the “world” here is those who have had God speak to them, and yet they rejected Him. They were like Cain, who should have known far better. Yet, he murdered his brother. And why did he murder his brother? That’s the question raised by the verse before our text. It answers it by stating his actions were evil while his brother’s were righteous.

Cain belonged to the evil one, like the Jews verse 13 points to. They were those who ignored the truth of the Old Testament, which now had happened before their very eyes. They are so set against the Saviour, so much under the power of Satan, they won’t only throw Christians out of the Synagogue, but declare that killing them is serving God. Imagine, those so close to you can viciously turn against you. Even in the church!

Suggestions for prayer: Pray for faithful teaching and ruling elders who look to the Lord alone. Ask God’s help to support and encourage them.

Rev. Sjirk Bajema currently serves the RCNZ Oamaru, in Oamaru, New Zealand. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at  

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