March 09, 2022 – Wednesday
1 John 2:9-11 NIV
7 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard.
8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.
9 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. 10 Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.
11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.
Please read the above verses and look for the command John is writing about. He mentions command four times, but seemingly never gives the command. What is going on here? John is writing here about a command from Jesus Christians should be aware of from John 10:34, A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. If this is the new command, what was the old one? That would be Leviticus 19:18, You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord which has significant changes. It is no longer your neighbor but love one another or your brothers and sisters and not to love them as you love yourself, but as Christ has loved you.
Jesus was speaking to His disciples when He gave His new command, but it is intended for all believers. Ask yourself now how Christ has loved you that we are to emulate in our love for our brothers and sisters? He loved us enough to go to the cross for us. An incredibly high standard of love, but while John points to that standard, he begins with verse 9, Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness. We cannot claim to be in the light, to be Christians if we hate a brother or sister in Christ because hating would mean we are still in the darkness. John put it this way in the prior verse, Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. How can we hate if we have His light, His truth in us? We cannot.
As a result John says we live in the light or more fully in verse 10, Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. Loving our fellow Christians means we are living in the light of Jesus. Contrast that with the last verse for today, But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. How terrible to be blinded by one’s own hate walking around in darkness. Jesus wanted to make sure this would not be applied only to our brothers and sisters, so in Matthew 5:43-45 He said, You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
I think upon reading John, we begin with our brothers and sisters where we are not to hate. Then beyond our brothers and sisters, we are also to love our enemies and pray for them. I don’t know who your enemies are, but I think of those who persecute believers and the church and pray for them. Specifically, I pray they would come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Imagine what it would be like if the worst people you know came to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, joining us in heaven one day. How wonderful and glorious.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, As You and Jesus have loved us, we are to love others. So simple yet so difficult at times. Please give us the strength and fortitude to do so more and more as Jesus has instructed us. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton