We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.1 John 3:12-15
We human beings can go a long way in rationalizing our behavior, but at the end of the day, John writes that there are two kinds of people: children of God and children of the devil. Ouch. Couldn’t he say that in a kindler, gentler way?
As John writes this he is simply echoing the words of Christ, especially in the context of these verses: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire” (Matthew 5: 21-22).
While Cain actually committed the act by killing his own brother, how many times have we been guilty of murder in Christ’s eyes?
The wonderful thing about Christ is that even when His words were clearly black and white, He provided a pathway to reconciliation –
“So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 4: 23-24).
Is there someone who you need to be reconciled with today?