In the previous passage, Jesus indicated to his disciples that just as the world has hated him, they will also hate them in his name. Jesus indicated that they will be persecuted by those that hate God and hate him.
John 15:22-25 (ESV Strong’s Bible)
22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.
For starters we should make this point clear that, even if Jesus did not come, everyone who hated Jesus, would still have sin. Jesus does not imply that they only have sin now that they have rejected and hated him. Jesus came to die for all of us because we are sinners. We were already sinners and condemned to hell before Jesus came to die for us. What Jesus is reffering to here is the sin of unbelief. Failure to beleive in Jesus. This is the sin that Jesus is reffering to and this is the sin that will condemn the world to hell. You see, no one will go to hell because they sin and are sinners. Even Christians are sinners. People are and will go to hell for failing to believe in Jesus.
Jesus says that if he had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of hating him, rejecting him and failing to believe in him. Now that he has come and given them the word, they are without an excuse for their sin of unbelief. The word excuse in the Greek is the word “prophasis” which means, that which is put forth as a cause or a reason. The KJV translates it as a cloak. A cover up. What Jesus means therefore here is, there is nothing that they can say or do, that will excuse their sin of unbelief. Jesus gave them the word and they have rejected the word and therefore they are guilty of the sin of unbelief. In John 7:46, the officers who were sent to arrest him said that no one ever spoke like Jesus.
Paul in Rom 1:20 speaks of the same message. Paul says that the creation testifies about God and yet the people rejected God and therefore they are without an excuse. Jesus says in John 9:41 that if the Pharisees were blind, they would not have been guilty but now that they say they see, their guilt remains. In Luke 12:47-48, Jesus says that a servant who knowingly acts against the master’s will, will recieve a severe beating but the one who did not know, will recieve a light beating. This means even ignorance, is not acceptable.
23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also.
Jesus says if you hate him, you hate God. Jesus said the same thing in John 5:23 that if you don’t honor him, you don’t honor God. Rejecting Jesus is rejecting God. Failure to beleive in Jesus is failure to believe in God.
24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father.
Jesus then says to the disciples, it is not only that I have spoken to them, I have also done works, miracles and signs that no one else has ever done and they still rejected me. Jesus said if I had not done these, then they would have not been guilty of unbelief but I have, and they are guilty. Instead of beleiving in me, they rejected me and hated me and God. In John 3:2, Nicodemus confirmed that Jesus had done such miracles that one can only do if God was with him. In John 7:31, the people asked themselves, if Jesus was not the Messaih, then would the Messaih do more sign than he did when he comes?. This confirms what Jesus is saying here that, he had done the works that should have made them realise who he is but they rejected him.
25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: They hated me without a cause.’
This utter rejection, this utter unbelief, lead to the world hating Jesus without any reason whatsoever. This was so that the prophecy can be fulfilled that they will hate him without a cause. Psa 35:19 and 69:4.
Jesus was discussing with his disciples and telling them that they will be hated by the world, they will be persecuted by the world and this, the world will do because of him. Jesus said that when these things happen to them, they must know that it happened to him first. Now Jesus here has just explained to them that although he came and gave the world the truth, although he came and spoke to the world, although he came and did miracles that no one else could and has ever done, although they themselves have confirmed that no one has ever spoken like Jesus, although they have confirmed that no one has ever done works that Jesus did, they still,chose to reject him without any reason what so ever and they became guilty of the sin of unbelief and for that, they have no excuse.
Do you reading this message have an excuse of rejecting Jesus? If you say you are a Christian, do you have an excuse of not bearing fruits that glorify God? The world has rejected Jesus, the world has hated Jesus and therefore the world has both rejected and hated God. Are you one of them?