From the echo of Cain’s insulting question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” down through the corridors of time, comes the thundering answer, YES!
screamed from the tomb of righteous Abel whom Cain had murdered. Gen. 4:9
The second greatest commandment speaks to the same question. “Love one another as Christ loved us.” (John 13:34-35) He loved and gave His all. No ifs, ands or buts. No excuse for not loving one’s neighbor is acceptable—and that’s in both word and deed. No defense will do. The command is straight from God.
In the 25th chapter of Matthew Jesus paints an indelible picture of the judgment scene. “Then the King will say to those on the right hand, “Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food. I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in. I was naked and you clothed Me. I was sick and you visited Me. I was in prison and you came to Me. Then the righteous will question when they ministered to His needs, and He will answer, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it unto Me.” (Matt. 25:34-40) paraphrased) To those on the left hand who had neglected doing any of those things for the “least of these,” He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it for one of the least of these, My brethren, you did not do it unto Me.” (Matt 22:45 paraphrased) Could anything be clearer than that?
And one last graphic example: A lawyer tested Jesus by posing the question, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus countered with His own question, “What is your reading of the law?” The lawyer replied, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Jesus said, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” Ah, but the lawyer asked, “But WHO is my neighbor?” Jesus answered with the story of the good Samaritan traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho who found a man beaten and left to die by thieves. Then a priest came by and passed on the other side of the road. Next a Levite came and looked but passed on by. These were both religious figures (or were they?). But a lowly Samaritan came along, bandaged up the man’s wounds, put him on his donkey and took him to an inn for treatment. Jesus asked the lawyer, “Which of these three men do you think was a neighbor to the wounded man? The lawyer acknowledged it was the one who had showed mercy. Then Jesus said, “Go and do likewise.”
What does it take to make us realize that nothing we own is really ours? We are merely stewards of God’s grace freely given. But none so blind as they that WILL not see.
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