Taking Care Of One Another In the Body of Christ – Part XIII
….. because it requires us to be our brother’s keeper through service and love.
Genesis 4: 8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Ever since the time of the fall of man through sin, man has refuted, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Man has become self-centered, taking care of number one, oneself. Even in the church today, though unspoken, the question remains, “Am I my brother’s keeper,” especially if my brother is not from my local congregation, sect, or denomination, or even if he is not a Christian.
But the Bible says, “I John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”
Taking care of others is mandatory in the kingdom of God. One of Jesus’ last acts on earth was to take care of his mother, Mary, a widow, giving her to John even though he had several brothers and sisters. The early Church created deacons to “serve” widows, orphans, and the poor. When Jesus spoke to the 5,000, he didn’t leave them hungry but fed them. His first miracle was water into wine at a wedding. When he saw a mother whose only child had died, he raised her. Serving others was central to Jesus’ ministry.
Serving others is the keystone to the five fold. Each individual gifting is not to isolate itself in its gifting from the other diverse giftings in the Body, but serve and support the other four. The giftings of birthing, nurturing, caring, teaching through daily life, drawing nearer to god and hearing his voice, and working together as a family are all gifts for the purpose of serving each other. Every believer in Jesus needs an evangelist, a shepherd, a teacher, a prophet, and an apostle around him to help him/her grow and mature spiritually into the image of Jesus Christ and to bring unity to the corporate Body of Christ.
Unlike Cain who murdered his brother then tried to justify his actions, IJohn 3:16 exhorts us to lay down our lives for our brother just as Jesus laid down his life for us in order to expose the gospel.
The Church is a community of believers, not an organized institution. Faith is when individual believers just lay their hands on the sick who become healed rather than building huge health conglomerates whose bottom line is finances. Service is giving a cup of water to a child or a stranger who is thirsty, not building a huge welfare system with food stamps.
Will you hear Jesus say, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ The righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” (Matt. 25:34-40)
Taking care of others is mandatory in the kingdom of God.