“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen”
1 John 4:19-20
Jesus gave a parable in the Luke account of the Gospel that perfectly describes who a brother is. The circumstance that brought about this question may perfectly befits most of you reading me now. On one occasion, an expert of the law [supposedly, a religious Christian] stood up to justify himself. So he asked Jesus “who is my neighbor? Perhaps this is a Christian that has be taught “giving and Receiving” and has considered himself to have measured up in performance. He could have given a whole lot to the church and projects, his tithes and offering might not in any way be found wanting in the church records. Assumingly, he concluded within that he must have fulfilled the requirement to “inherits eternal life”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.
The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Luke 10: 29-37
Christ’s definition of the object of love is beyond religious rite. Who your brother is, is beyond the church four walls. In Jesus teachings, the Priest and the Levite did not consider the “certain man” their neighbour/brother because he was not a church member; he has no membership card and tithe records. He was not in any way qualify as a brother. Hence he was ignored “…leaving him half dead”. They were more ruthless than Cain.
But a Samaritan, [a believer saved by grace and not works] as he traveled, [on purposeful adventure, perhaps on a mission of Love] came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him, and went out of his way to help him. Jesus thereafter adroitly asked the expert of the law to answer his own self-centered inclined question, and having had his conceit exposed, the expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Dear Friends, in the words of Christ, so do I say to you today. “Go and do likewise.” Show mercy to strangers help the poor and the needy, bind the wound of the afflicted, pour oil and wine, offer bread and grains, help your Neighbours. In these ways you open the door for the gospel. Your testimony of the cross and the love of God becomes effective.
Your neighbour or brother is not only your kinsmen, church members or siblings. Your neighbour is that needy and the poor God has brought around you and your sphere of influence. The physically needy and the spiritually poor [your wicked boss and in-laws, that witch house girl, the household wizards, and the arm robbers and miscreants that hurt you and your family]
If you indeed know the estimate of God’s love and mercy towards you, then you will love much.
If you have been forgiven much and has not loved much in return you are Guilty!
“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Maybe you are thinking like Cain, saying, “God has done little or nothing for me”, and you are now resentful, hateful and insensitive. Listen, God’s mercy and grace towards you is far beyond your imagination. Change the attitude of your heart today and see the dramatic turn of events in your life. Allow the peace of God to rule your life, and let the lotion of his love refresh your actions.
Look around you, get hold of someone in need, and show him the God in you through Love.
Showing love is not only about money. It can be care, attention, and words of comfort, material ministration, visitations, forgiveness, prayers, and many other deeds not limited to this list.
LOVE YOUR BROTHER
LOVE IS A COMMAND and NOT AN ADVICE
And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.