In the book of Genesis we read the account of the first murder in the fourth chapter. In this account jealousy took root in the in heart of Cain and he killed his brother Abel. One of the most interesting statements during this exchange came when God asked Cain where his brother was, to which Cain responded “Am I my brother’s keeper?” While Cain really wasn’t looking for an honest answer, the answer is yes! One of the responsibilities of being a part of a family is that you look after each other. This is true with the physical family as well as with the spiritual family. Note the following:
- We are our brother’s keeper: Yes, the elders are to oversee the flock but that certainly does not relieve us from doing our part to assist our brothers and sisters. We all need to be checking in on our fellow Christians and helping them out whenever we can. While it may be unpleasant, this includes correcting our brethren when they are in sin. Consider (Galatians 2:11-12) “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. (Vs.12) For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.” Paul confronted Peter when he mistreated the Gentiles. Paul didn’t hate Peter, in fact he addressed his sin because he loved him! Being our brother’s keeper is more than just correcting those in the wrong, it also includes encouraging our brethren when they need it most. At the end of the day, we are all on the same team and now more than ever, we need to band together and hold one another up.
- We are our brother’s finder: Part of being our brother’s keeper includes going after our brethren when they go astray. Consider what Christ said in His parable of the lost sheep in (Luke 15:4-7) “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (Vs.5) And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. (Vs.6) And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. (Vs.7) I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.” This parable stresses our duty to go after those who have left the faith. Sometimes it is to sit back and simply say “It is a shame that brother (insert name) has left the Church”, when in actuality we need to be pleading with these lost sheep and trying to win them back to Christ. Let us always try to look after our brothers and sisters in Christ, so we all may be able to enjoy eternity together.confronted Peter when he mistreated the Gentiles.