April 18, 2006

Who Are Jesus' Brothers and Sisters? (2)

Matthew 25:41-46

"Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." Matthew 25:45


Some people identify the brothers and sisters of Jesus as fellow believers who are hurting. They make a strong case. Jesus himself said, "Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister ..." (Matthew 12:50). And Hebrews 2:11 says that "both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers."

When believers are naked, hungry, in prison, or in need of shelter, we need to come to their aid. Think also of the many thousands of believers around the world who are suffering persecution under the oppression of brutal, anti-Christian regimes. Jesus cares about them, and we too should do all we can to help.

Some have reasoned that if suffering believers are the brothers and sisters of Jesus, we don't have to worry about others who might need help, such as millions of unbelievers who are dying from AIDS, natural disasters, and destitute poverty or who are caught up in child prostitution or behind bars.

Certainly hurting believers are the brothers and sisters of Jesus. But, again, can we be sure that Jesus' family doesn't extend further?

With judgment day approaching, we want to be sure we've not neglected to help anyone.

Today, Lord, we pray for fellow believers around the world who need your healing, comfort, and relief, and may we not forget all others who still need to know you. Amen.

About the author — H. David Schuringa

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