How Jesus Was Treated

Series: Red Letter Talks | Week 3: You Will Be Hated

Read John 15:20-22 in your personal Bible or at the link provided.


1. How was Jesus treated?

2. Why was He persecuted?

3. How should we expect to be treated?


Jesus’s words to His disciples need to be understood within their original context. In today’s language, the saying in John 15:20 might sound like “a student is not greater than the teacher.” In Jesus’s time, servants were in voluntary service, and masters would’ve wanted the best for their servants.

Jesus reminded His disciples of the way He was treated throughout His ministry: He was harassed (John 5:16-18), misunderstood by His own family (John 7:1-6), and accused of being possessed by a demon (John 8:48-53). If Jesus received this kind of treatment from the world, we as His “students” shouldn’t be surprised by the same.

When you faithfully endure criticism, mocking, or mistreatment because you follow Jesus, you’re participating in Christ’s suffering. Scripture promises that you’ll also participate in His glory; and even while you’re waiting for the joy of heaven, you can have joy today that comes from the Lord. He doesn’t waste anything you walk through. When troubles come your way, God can use them to make you more like Jesus. And because Jesus also suffered, you can have confidence that He empathizes with everything you’re going through.


What’s your typical response to troubling circumstances? Pick one of the passages mentioned above (John 5:16-18, John 7:1-6, or John 8:48-53) and read it, looking for how Jesus was treated and how He responded. He was always gentle and pointed people to the Father. Spend some time in prayer asking God to help you respond to trouble in a way that glorifies Him.

Red Letter Talks