John’s First Epistle
1 Jno. 2:7-11
Hate’s Location: Darkness
7 Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. 8 At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 9 Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. 10 Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. 11 But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes. – 1 Jno. 2:7-11
The coming of Christ into the world and the preaching of the gospel afforded good opportunity for light to overcome darkness, as people left the darkness of sin and stepped into the light of God, made possible by the person and work of Jesus Christ.
For those who made that choice, John issues this reminder that those walking in the light cannot bring with them any vestige of the darkness they left. They knew this before reading what John wrote.
The main idea of this section is written in verse 9: “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.”
John does not allow contradictory claims. You cannot honestly say you are walking in the light if you retain hate for your brother. Hate is a part of darkness, not light.
The converse of this is, whoever loves his brother abides in the light, “and in him there is no cause for stumbling.”
“But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because darkness has blind his eyes.”
Love has always been a characteristic of God’s people. Jesus took love and filled it with rich meaning that was visible to people who were with Him and is now documented in the New Testament.
-Warren E. Berkley