Siblings and especially brothers have a unique bond. They stick together in the best of times and the worst of times. No one would you rather have in your corner in a struggle than the other. No one can turn up the fun faster than the other. Family is defined in the bonds or brotherhood!
Note from Kip…
The bond that exists between siblings is not easily defined by any other benchmark, brotherhood is something special that stands the test of time and turmoil.
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
Proverbs 17:17 (NLT)
This week has been a reinforcement of all the benefits of brotherhood.
From my brother who pastors a church hundreds of miles from here, who I haven’t talked to this week but is constantly in my thoughts and prayers.
To the brother in the Lord that I shared my deepest thoughts and concerns earlier this week.
And yet again today there will be another reminder of the the befits of brotherhood when a group of brothers from the church will gather to have a good time at a recreation facility not far from here.
I thought perhaps this morning we might look at brothers in the scriptures.
The first brothers
Oh yeah, we tend to forget that there can be an ugly side to brothers when jealousy enters into the relationship. Cain and Able demonstrated that for us right out of the gate.
Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Genesis 4:8 (HCSB)
The bond between brothers can and do develop flaws.
On the far end of the spectrum there is another brother that extols such virtue that speaks to our very soul.
The man of too many friends chosen indiscriminately will be broken in pieces and come to ruin, but there is a true, loving friend who is reliable and sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24 (AMP)
He was still speaking to the crowds when suddenly His mother and brothers were standing outside wanting to speak to Him. Someone told Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to You.”
But He replied to the one who told Him, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?” And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is My brother and sister and mother.”
Matthew 12:46-50 (HCSB)
Jesus makes it clear that the bond of brotherhood which is deeper than all else, are those who are His Disciples. He says this while His mother and brothers wait outside, not disclaiming them as His, but underscoring the deepest bond of brotherhood that we ever will see or experience, being His Disciple.
Sons of Thunder
To brothers that were Apostles of Jesus were James and John.
He appointed the Twelve:, To Simon, He gave the name Peter; and to James the son of Zebedee, and to his brother John, He gave the name “Boanerges”
(that is, “Sons of Thunder”)
Mark 3:16-17 (HCSB)
Jesus knew the hearts of James and John. Their enthusiastic defense of the Lord demonstrated their sincere bond of brotherhood with not only each other but with the Lord.
At one point Jesus had to rebuke the two of them for wanting to call down fire from heaven to consume those that in their estimation, offended the Lord and consequently them too, which tells us that Jesus earlier designating them the ‘Son’s of Thunder’ was spot on.
The complexity of brotherhood is seen between the two brothers as they were fiercely loyal to Christ Jesus, but it was more than fury that defined them.
James was the first of the Apostles to be martyred, exhibiting sacrifice to the the very death of the body.
John died in isolation in old age but later was attributed to become the “Apostle of Love”.
We are inextricably linked by a bond that is amazingly powerful and purposeful. That bond is established by God Spirit in unity with our spirit, bonding with the spirit of other followers of Christ.
This bond is what holds together the Body of Christ which unites the Spirit of God within us in a fellowship that is unparalleled in any other relationship. As we unify in the Body of Christ we elevate not only our own spirits but bring glory and honor to our Big Brother Jesus, who as you recall, defined His Disciples as His Brothers, Sisters, and Mother.