The timing of this information is important to take note of. This chapter is part of Jesus’ teaching before He dies. Jesus could have told them this earlier, but it was not time. Jesus was coming to the end of His earthly ministry, and there were important facts that His disciples needed to know concerning their future. Jesus told them that just as He was about to be persecuted, they would travel the same road. They would be considered heretics. Since the world hated Him, they would suffer hatred also. Some would think they were justified in their actions because they would be killing individuals who taught a different doctrine. When these things happened to them, they would remember Jesus’ warning. History records these facts. When I studied the Roman Empire, these facts were covered in the textbook. It mentions the various Roman emperors and their dealings with the Christians at that time.
In 64 A.D., the Roman emperor, Nero, looked around for a scapegoat to blame the disastrous fire of Rome on. The Christians became the target. He inflicted the most fiendish tortures on the Christians living in the area. He raised the bar of hatred against these believers. It is recorded that Paul was beheaded during Nero’s reign. See the following: http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/christians.htm#.