I John 3:12-15; A Devotional

, posted by Martin Glynn

12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

Remember here that John is not mentioning Cain here to discourage us from killing. John here is recalling the word of our Lord:

Matthew 5:21-22: “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca, ‘is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell”

In this passage, Cain is representing the world and what the world does. What does the world does? It hates, and it especially hates righteousness. Therefore we should not be surprised if the world hates us, for we are righteous.

But the important thing is to not return the sentiment in kind. We are not to hate them back. We are instead called to love, and to love one another especially. This is how we are distinguished from the world; this is the ultimate mark of a Christian.

Indeed, John goes on. He says anyone who murders his brother, anyone who hates his brother, has no part in the kingdom. Just as love is a mark of the Christian, so is hate the mark of the world. Those that hate are still linked to the world, and live as Cain lived. Those who are jealous of another’s righteousness are most especially steeped in the mires of sin.

Therefore, we must strive to stave off hatred, bickering, and quarrels. We need to pursue love and kindness. Pursue the other person’s joy over our own. If we do not wear this mark, that how can we claim to be followers of Christ, the ultimate sacrifice for all?

How easily do you bare this mark? Do you wear it openly? Do you pursue love? Do you seek peace amoung believers? Do you forgive those that wrong you?