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Does Jesus Hate?

Why does Jesus hate anything or anyone? Revelation 2:6 says, "But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of Nicolaitans, which I also hate."

I can understand why it might at first be difficult to think of Jesus Christ as hating anything. For one thing, the emphasis found in the coming of Christ to earth is that this is the supreme expression of God's love to man. For another thing, modern "christianity" has defined the character of Jesus Christ in line more with what they want Him to be than with who He really was. The challenge is to return to the true biblical description of Jesus. Let's see if we can take a few steps in that direction by considering the ability of Jesus to hate and His actual practice of that hatred.

You have already answered the first question that most people ask: Does Jesus hate anything or anyone? The answer, of course, is yes. The verse you mention is clear, but we will see other proofs in a little bit. But let's look at the follow-up question: Why would Jesus hate anything or anyone? I would like to give several answers to that question.

First of all, Jesus hates because He is God and it is a characteristic of God that He hates that which is evil and eventually those who are evil. Just consider the following verses as evidence.

  • Psalm 5:4-5 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.
  • Psalm 11:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
  • Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

Jesus is divine and will have all the attributes of deity. One of those attributes is to hate that which is evil.

Righteousness requires that we hate certain things. Let me give an easy illustration. Would it be wrong to hate the sexual abuse of a young child? Of course not. Then why do we think that righteousness means only love and no hate. The Bible is full of instruction on this subject. Here are a few examples:

  • Psalm 26:5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
  • Psalm 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
  • Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
  • Psalm 119:104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

There are more verses, but this should be enough. To be righteous, a saint should hate certain things. Jesus was absolutely righteous. Therefore, He hated these things.

Jesus even taught His disciples to hate certain things. Consider these verses:

  • Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
  • John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

If Jesus told His own disciples to hate certain things, then surely He practiced what He preached.

The Bible teaches both by direct statements and clear examples of His actions that Jesus hated certain things. Your example from Revelation 2:6 is one good example. Consider this one also:

Psalm 45:6-7 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

This passage is a prophecy about the coming of Jesus Christ. These verses are quoted in Hebrews 1:8-9 and are said to be said "unto the Son." There is therefore no question that this refers to Jesus. Yet, it says that Jesus hates wickedness. Not only that, we see several examples of this in the Bible.

Jesus Himself says this of false prophets, "And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:23). Certainly, this is a hatred of wickedness and a future hatred of those who follow after wickedness. But we also see examples of this side of Jesus during His earthly ministry. Consider this passage:

John 2:13-16 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

Another example can be seen in the diatribe of Jesus against the scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23. Here is just a sample. You might want to read the entire chapter.

Matthew 23:13-17 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

This is not an expression of sweet love. Jesus was angry and He showed a vehement hatred of their ways.

In conclusion, the evidence is clear. Jesus hated and had reasons to hate. The question I have is: Why is it so difficult for people to imagine Jesus hating anything? I think the answer is that people today do not base their concept of Jesus on the Bible. They have created a Jesus in their own imagination. This is the Jesus of tradition and of man's imagination; not the Jesus of the Bible. The Bible tells us of this tendency to make Jesus into something He is not and warns us of those who come and preach "another Jesus" (2 Corinthians 11:4). The Jesus of popular conception is "another Jesus." He is more like Santa Claus (another invention of the human imagination) than the Jesus of the Bible.

The answer is to get back to the Bible in order to understand who the true Jesus is and then to follow Him.