This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:21 NABRE
John writing to his community about love, has given us much to think about in terms of love. Previously he has said if anyone says he loves God but hates his brother, he is a liar. Just to be sure we get it, John goes on to write we who say we love God have no choice but to love our brother (and sister of course is inferred in the masculine language of the time.) If we don’t love our brother and sister then we are breaking a commandment, the commandment to love. Jesus has told us we must love God and love others. God is the creator so all people are God’s children. Imagine being the father (or mother) of children and someone tells you they love you, but also admits they do not love one of your children. Your reaction would be the same as John is writing. You cannot love me, the father/mother if you do not love one of my children. The reverse is also true, if we know a father very well and love that father, we find that we also love that father’s children, it seems almost natural. So John is speaking about things that we should find obvious. Whenever we can take a generalization as we have here and make it specific we can easily see the truth of the message.
What might remain is to ask, who is our brother or sister? Jesus clears this up for us when He is preaching to a crowd and someone says your mother, brothers and sisters are here and Jesus responds stretching out His hand to His disciples; “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Mathew 12:49-50)
Do you see God’s desire for us to love all of His creation? Are you able to love someone you do not know?If we don't love our brother and sister then we are breaking a commandment, the commandment to love. Jesus has told us we must love God and love others. Click To Tweet
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