18.If the world hate you. After having armed the Apostles for the battle, Christ exhorts them likewise to patience; for the Gospel cannot be published without instantly driving the world to rage. Consequently, it will never be possible for godly teachers to avoid the hatred of the world. Christ gives them early information of this, that they may not be instances of what usually happens to raw recruits, who, from wont of experience, are valiant before they have seen their enemies, but who tremble as soon as the battle is commenced. And not only does Christ forewarn his disciples, that nothing may happen to them which is new and unexpected, but likewise confirms them by his example; for it is not reasonable that Christ should be hated by the world, and that we, who represent his person, should have the world on our side, which is always like itself.
You know. I have translated the verb
γινώσκετε in the indicative mood, you know; but if any one prefer to translate it in the imperative mood, know ye, I have no objection, for it makes no change in the meaning. There is greater difficulty in the phrase which immediately follows,
πρῶτον ὑμῶν, before you; for when he says that he is before the disciples, this may be referred either to time or torank The former exposition has been more generally received, namely, that Christ was hated by the world before the Apostles were hated But I prefer the second exposition, namely, that Christ, who is far exalted above them, was not exempted from the hatred of the world, and therefore his ministers ought not to refuse the same condition; for the phraseology is the same as that which we have seen twice before, in Joh_1:27 and 30, He who cometh after me is preferred to me, (
ὅτι πρῶτός μου ἦν,)for he was before me