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1 John 2:11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 But the one who 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.
But the one who hates his brother. The word here would, in this connection, include both the mere absence of love and positive hatred. It is designed to include the whole of that state of mind where there is no love for the brothers.
Is in the darkness. That is, he cannot have true Christianity unless he has a love for the brothers. The command to love one another was one of the most solemn and earnest which Christ ever enjoined (John 15:17;) he made it the peculiar badge of discipleship, or that by which his followers were to be everywhere known (John 13:35;) and it is, therefore, impossible to have any true Christianity without love to those who are sincerely and truly his followers. If a man has not that, he is in deep darkness, whatever else he may have, on the whole subject of true Christianity.
And walks in the darkness. He is like one who walks in the dark and who sees no object distinctly. Whatever you have to do, do it while you enjoy this light. Make good use of your privileges before they are removed. That is, while the Messiah is with you, avail yourselves of his instructions and learn the way to life. Lest God should take away all your mercies, remove all light and instruction from you, and leave you to ignorance, blindness, and woe. This was true that darkness and calamity were to come upon the Jewish people when the Messiah was removed, and it is also true that God leaves a sinner to darkness and misery when he has long rejected the gospel.
And does not know where he is going. Like one in the dark. He wanders about, not knowing what direction he shall take or where the course which he is on will lead. The general meaning is that he is ignorant of the whole nature of religion; or, in other words, love for the brothers is a central virtue in religion, and when a man has not that, his mind is entirely clouded on the whole subject, and he shows that he knows nothing of its nature. No virtue is designed to be made more prominent in Christianity, and none will throw its influence farther over a man’s life.
Because the darkness has blinded his eyes. Will this word of caution move you to stay away from spiritual darkness by rejecting personal differences, the lies of those who are in opposition to God’s Word, or anything else that crush your brotherly love?
By Albert Barnes