Nearly 6,000 years ago, a man asked the question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Of course, we know that Cain was answering God’s question with a question, meant to evade answering. But that single question still bears considerable consideration in this world of sin.
Do I have a responsibility for my neighbor? My family? Even strangers? The world tells us that we should just look out for number one because nobody else is going to look out for you. And, in a world of sin, the world is right. Selfish to our deepest parts, without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, it is impossible for us to love or care for anyone above ourselves.
But Christ came to this world and lived a life of love, compassion, and service. He took to Himself anyone who was willing to surrender to His love. It didn’t matter what color they were, where they were born, who their ancestors were, or what language they spoke. It didn’t matter what they did for work, what religion they espoused, nor how sinful their lives might have been.
Christ came to save mankind, meaning the entire human race—every man, woman, and child. And the life He lived is an example to us, as Christians, those who strive to be Christlike, to assume mankind as our brother.
Then Christ went one step further and died to guarantee that anyone who would accept Him as their Saviour—would turn from their sins and surrender their hearts and lives to Him—might become just like Him.
Who is my brother? All for whom Christ died, and that doesn’t leave out anyone, for any reason.
Love and compassion for our fellow human beings is expressed in many ways. The Bible tells us to defend the weak, fatherless, and widow (Psalms 82:3; 149:9). We are to come to the aid of those in need and poverty; to protect those in danger of persecution, violence, and suffering (Matthew 25:35–40). We are to love the stranger, because we were once strangers in a land of sin (Deuteronomy 10:19). It tells us that even our enemy is our brother (Matthew 5:43–48).
We cannot help our brother if we do not show him Jesus Christ. This world is sick to death with sin and Jesus is the only cure. Whatever we do to help others, must ultimately lead them to Him.
Our brother is everyone who has an ear to hear, who needs to know that there is a Saviour waiting for them to come to Him. By God’s grace, it is our privilege to tell and show them what He has already done for us. We are to love and respect all for whom Jesus gave His life. We are to sacrifice ourselves for them.
One day all of God’s children will stand on the sea of glass. There will be no “You will live in that part of the holy city because …” or ”I will be living over here because …” All will be united in love to God and each other. Nothing else will matter.