John 15:20 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 15:20, NIV: "Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also."

John 15:20, ESV: "Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours."

John 15:20, KJV: "Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also."

John 15:20, NASB: "Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you as well; if they followed My word, they will follow yours also."

John 15:20, NLT: "Do you remember what I told you? 'A slave is not greater than the master.' Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you."

John 15:20, CSB: "Remember the word I spoke to you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours."

What does John 15:20 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus is speaking these words shortly before He will be arrested and crucified (John 18:1–3; 19:18). A major theme of His words is reassurance: giving the disciples a perspective that will encourage them during the difficult times ahead (1 Peter 4:12–13). In prior verses, Jesus pointed out that those who faithfully follow Him will be hated by the world as a result (John 15:18–19). Knowing, in advance, that these hardships are expected and under God's control can make them easier to endure (John 13:9; 14:25, 29; 16:4).

In this case, Jesus asks the disciples to remember something He said recently (John 13:16). The first time this teaching was given, His point then was that servants are expected to do anything their master would do. Here, the point is that servants can't expect to be treated better than their master. Those who "keep [your word]" are those who hear the gospel and respond. The unbelieving world doesn't want this, however (2 Corinthians 4:3–4; Ephesians 4:17–19). In fact, their natural response when Christians refuse to join in their sins is mockery and hatred (1 Peter 4:4).