The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
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Cornelius a Lapide
The world cannot hate you, &c. You (my kinsmen) can go at any time to Jerusalem without risk, because ye do not oppose the Scribes, but rather favour, and pay them court. But I, if I go up openly with you, put Myself in manifest peril of My life. So S. Cyril, who also adds the reason, "For a mind given to pleasures, greatly resents being called away from them;" for the Scribes were unwilling to abandon their pleasures, their luxuries, their injustice, and therefore hated Christ, who wished to draw them away from them, as the wise man says (Wisdom ii12).
Very kindly now also doth the Saviour reprove His brethren, who are still too worldly-minded and disposed, and brings forward a second defence, mingled with skill, whereby He shews that not only are they ignorant Who He is by Nature, but are still so far removed from love to Him, as to choose to live in a way not unconformed to them who admire living in the world, and not rather in virtue. For it would have been verily most absurd to say to everybody else what would be of use, having laid aside all disguise about it, yet not to bestow on His reputed brethren, in far greater measure, things wherewith they, having now the Giver of wisdom, might learn with no slight profit. And this is the custom of our Saviour Christ. For He sometimes seizing favourable opportunity fashioneth great instruction unto His hearers. Ever dear therefore (saith He) to each is that which is akin to it, and identity of habit wondrously bringeth together unto agreement. The world doth not hate you (for ye savour y...
That is, because I upbraid and rebuke it, therefore I am hated. From this let us learn to master our anger, and not to give way to unworthy passion, though they be mean men who give us counsel. For if Christ meekly bore with unbelievers counseling Him, when their counsel was improper and not from any good intention, what pardon shall we obtain, who being but dust and ashes, yet are annoyed with those who counsel us, and deem that we are unworthily treated, although the persons who do this may be but a little humbler than ourselves? Observe in this instance how He repels their accusation with all gentleness; for when they say, Show Yourself to the world, He replies, The world cannot hate you, but Me the world hates; thus removing their accusation. So far, He says, am I from seeking honor from men, that I cease not to reprove them, and this when I know that by this course hatred is produced against and death prepared for Me. And where, asks some one, did He rebuke men? When did He ever c...