"If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, 'No slave is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. (Jn 15:18-21)
Jesus gives a lesson on who belongs to him (Jesus) and what reward will be given to him for following Jesus. In his last discourse, all the lessons and information and revelations are to the disciples and followers, though it is addressed to only the twelve. Through them it is passed on to his followers of the ages to come.
Anyone who belongs to Jesus does not belong to the world. The disciple is in the world but does not belong to the world. So he will be in constant tension with the world and he will be in confrontation with the world. By the word ‘world’ Jesus does not mean the material world alone but much more the evil power in the world. Jesus was not against the world as such but he was in constant confrontation with the evil power of the world. A disciple/ follower will be so.
The outcome (reward) of this is that the disciple will be hated by the world as it did with Jesus. Hatred and dislike are the natural outcome for the disciple from this evil power in the world. Probably a true disciple will be able to recognize where the evil power is at work by the way he is treated.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another. (Jn 15:12-17)
The disciples are called friends. This is the only designation which speaks about a perfect, equal, and just relationship. Because only among friends there are no secrets, no hesitations and life is spontaneous and among them there is perfect revelation. This also helps us to look back into the relationship that existed between God and Moses. (Ex 33,12.17). God and Moses are friends. And it is through Moses God is first revealed.
‘Whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you’ is another statement that speaks about the relationship and the effect of this relationship. It is because of the close relationship that the name is revealed. (This is like in the case of Moses where God revealed his own name to Moses). Jesus name is with the disciples and whatever they ask through his name is granted to them.
Jesus says it again the commandment that he has come to leave with his disciples. This is the mark of their relationship and this again reveals the relationship among them. If there is love then there is relationship. So the commandment is to build relationship