Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Fri, 04/12/2009 – 13:19
Bible Book: 1 John / 1 Johannes
Chapter: 3
Verse: 14 – 24
Text: 1 John 3: 14-24

When you read this section from verses 14 to 24, verse 14 forms the introduction or “heading” of what is to follow. Love and death are contrasted here. In verse 15 John connects hatred and murder directly with each other. In verses 16 to 18 and 23 he explains what love is. So hatred and love are also contrasted.

To commit a murder is to rob somebody of his/her life. Love does the exact opposite: it gives life (verse 16). “Love gives life” can be interpreted in two ways, of course: On the one hand it means “loving is giving your own life” (verse 16) and on the other hand it can mean “loving means to give somebody else life”. Jesus is the perfect example of a love that gives life. He gave his own life and by doing so gave us eternal life.

That hatred can take someone’s life and love gives someone life is sometimes demonstrated in a dramatic way by the experiences of people living with HIV. Because HIV breaks down and weakens a person’s immune system, that person not only becomes extremely susceptible to infections by other viruses – he/she is also very vulnerable to his/her emotional and social environment. So it can actually happen that someone living with HIV and whose immune system is already weakened, can become ill and even die because of other people’s loveless actions (e.g. withdrawal, judgment, blame, rejection). On the other hand we hear many stories about people living with HIV whose health improves dramatically because of the caring, understanding, support and acceptance of others. In short: love has given this person new health and new life.

“Anyone who does not love remains in death” (verse 14b). He who loves remains in life – and gives life.

Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English

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