Jesus’ disciples were really looking forward to the visible power reign of the Messiah, and they expected it at any minute. They were not into all this suffering talk, like taking up one’s cross. They were much more into positioning themselves for cabinet positions in the new world order they felt sure was coming soon.
How disappointed they must have been to hear, “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me” (Matthew 24:9).
After Jesus’ death and resurrection and after the Spirit’s outpouring on Pentecost, they became fearless champions and confessors of the truth. They cheerfully trusted that Jesus could and would reimburse them later a hundred times over for any losses this side of the grave. That confidence sustained them during the bitter years of persecution.
Someday there will be only love. For now there is plenty of hate, and some will come at you. Heads up.