The disciples in John’s audience were experiencing division, largely caused from within the group. Sometimes the observations, teachings, and call to repentance from an older, more mature Christian is just what a fellowship needs. John says, “hold up, this doesn’t look like the fellowship that Jesus provides for, allows us to have.”

John precedes this section with the reminder that we are to rely on God and walk in the light, and when we do blow it, we are to rely on Jesus as the atoning sacrifice. A true walk with God is marked with true obedience. These points make John’s rebuke on division amongst the brothers and sisters more powerful. When a group is committed to following Jesus together, we see Jesus in them; when they are not, we see Satan in them. John insists that we can’t claim one thing when our behavior towards others indicates something else. We should not be misled, even if we claim light, if our lack of love towards others show dark, then we are in the dark. Conversely, a love for one another shares, sheds, produces light. Love welcomes and grows a fellowship. A fellowship lacking direction and growth may have divisive members among them groping along in the dark, tripping one another up with sinful behavior.

{Meditations on 1 John 2:7-11}