Hebrews 13:1, Brotherly Love
Let brotherly love continue.
//One of the distinguishing marks of early Christianity was its propensity for treating one another as “brethren,” greatly beloved. Rome thought those early Christians a strange lot–”they love one another as though their precious Jesus were still with them.”
Let’s break today’s verse down. “Brotherly,” in the original Greek, is disturbingly literal. It might be more correctly interpreted, “from the same womb.” How are we to understand this? As Nicodemus says, “Can a man enter into the womb and be born again?” I can imagine Jesus smiling as he explains: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
“Love” in this verse is the Greek word philia; …that is, a fondness, a close companionship.
And “continue” means just what it sounds like; a plea to make sure love endures. Let’s put it all together again in a wordy retranslation:
Let there be a deep and enduring fondness between all who have been reborn of the Spirit.
The Way It Happened
|Revelation: A love story gone awry.||The Gospel: A love story set aright.|
What really happened 2,000 years ago? How did a persecuted minority of end-time believers known as Christians, with their dreams of Armageddon and a conquering Messiah named Jesus, evolve into the largest religion in the world? Author Lee Harmon explores the period in which the New Testament was written in his books about John's Gospel and Revelation.
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