Luke 11 verses 1,2: "Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick)."
The story of Lazarus and his sisters is a wonderful story about a strong woman of faith and her concern for her dear brother. Mary and Martha were close friends and loved their brother. He was sick, and they knew that only Jesus could heal him of his sickness. They sent word to Jesus, but he waited and did not come until Lazarus was dead...all hope was gone. Jesus raised him from the dead after he saw the grief of Martha and Mary and the Jews that were with them. Here we have the shortest verse in the Bible, "Jesus wept." (John 11.35). Those sisters are an example of the love for a brother...they were concerned for him and went to Jesus for help. Sisters, pray for your brothers.
I gave this scripture background because I want to tell you of another true story of the love of a sister for her brother. I was the associate pastor of a little country church, Martha Memorial (named after Lazarus' sister Martha), for about four years. Edna was a faithful member of this church, as was one of her brothers, John. Her mama and daddy had been members but the Lord had called both of them home; her Mama went first and then a few years later, her Daddy died. I helped preach his funeral in 2001. Edna's other brother, Harold, had major health problems and lived with his Mama and Daddy. He didn't attend church very much.
A few weeks after Mr. Harold died, I received a late night phone call from Edna. Her brother, Harold, had been hospitalized, was in intensive care, and was not expected to live long. Edna asked me to go see him. You see, she was concerned about her dear brother. She said, "Brother Irvin, I know the Lord can heal him but that is not what I am concerned about...I am concerned about his soul-where he will spend eternity." I prayed with her, and then told her the Lord was pleased with her concerns and would answer her prayers.
I went on over to the hospital and stepped into the ICU room where Harold lay. He was hooked up to many machines, and looked pitiful laying there. As the compassion of the Lord welled up in me, I leaned over and whispered in his ear, "Harold, it's Irvin. Your sister, Edna, asked me to come over here and see you. I am going to have church for you." He squeezed my hand, and a few tears escaped from his closed eyes. I sang him a few songs his Mama used to sing, "Precious Memories", "What A Friend We Have in Jesus", and others. I pulled out my Bible, and read him a few words about the importance of being born again. I then told him that his sister was concerned about his soul. I knew he was listening despite his weakened condition. As I went to the Lord in prayer, I asked the Lord to honor Edna's faith, and to surround Harold with his wonderful love. I also asked the Lord to raise up Harold and let him come back to the home that he loved. As I finished praying, I had the sweet peace that the Lord had heard and answered this prayer.
A few days later, Harold got better and went back home. He lived for a few months and then the Lord called him home to that great reunion in heaven. Edna's faith and love for her brother was honored by the Lord. I preached on his funeral and relayed what had occurred at the ICU hospital room. This was a great comfort to the family and was a testimony of the love of a sister for her brother.