THE BROTHERLINESS OF JESUS

Feb 15, 2021 | Gilbert’s Podcast

EPISODE 10

THE BROTHERLINESS OF JESUS

by | Feb 15, 2021 | Gilbert’s Podcast | 1 comment

JESUS THE SAME 

PREVIOUS EPISODES

JESUS’ TRUST IN GOD | Episode 9

by Gilbert Kimeng | Jesus the Same

REVIEW | THE CHARACTER OF JESUS PART 2

by Gilbert Kimeng | Jesus the Same

About This Episode

THE BROTHERLINESS OF JESUS

“First be reconciled to your brother” – Matthew 5:24

  • We have found the secret of his joy and strength lay in his implicit trust in God, and now we wish to reflect on another trait for which it is difficult to find a satisfying name.

o   If we say “the love of Jesus,” the word “love” so ambiguous and so liable to misinterpretation;

o   If we choose to call it “the service of Jesus,” the word “service” is rather cold and has long since been worn into shreds;

o   If we say the “pity” of Jesus, pity is love looking downward, and that does not convey all the truth;

o   “The kindness of Jesus” is another option, but the word does not carry with it enough force

  • Possibly we cannot do better than to take the word “brotherliness,” for this word contains two elements, both of which are essential if we would understand the kind of man Jesus was.

o   Brotherliness carries in it not only a sense of kinship, but likewise a disposition to render help.

o   There is a relationship, and likewise a helpfulness, and both of these blended into one constitute this great quality.

Even His Critics

  • This trait made a profound impression upon Jesus’ contemporaries.
  •  Not only in what his friends said about him, but also by the criticisms and sneers of his foes.
  • Scribes and Pharisees often said was a friend of the Publicans and sinners
  • When he hung dying on the cross, they gathered round him in mockery saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself” (Mark 15:31).
  • Both of these accusations are as devilish as anything to be found in the literature of the world, but they are valuable to us:

o   They show conclusively what impression Jesus made upon the people of his time.

  • It had been his practice all the way through life to help men.
  • He had been a friendly, brotherly man, even to the lowest members of society.
  • The same trait is characterized in a famous phrase written by one of his dearest friends, “He went about doing good.”

o   What more beautiful eulogy has ever been written about a man than that?

  • In these three sentences – “The friend of publicans and sinners;” “He saved others; he cannot save himself;” and “He went about doing good” – we get eloquent testimony to the fact that Jesus had a brotherly heart.

Let us look into the accusation that he was the friend of Publicans and sinners and find out what it meant. The word “Publican” means nothing to us because we have no class of men corresponding to the Publicans of Palestine.

  • They were the Jewish tax-gatherers for the Roman government.
  • They were the hirelings of great capitalists into whose hands it was necessary to turn over a certain sum of money each year, and by extortion and other dishonest measures, they could make just as much money for themselves.
  • To every pious Hebrew these men were traitors to their country, and wherever they went, they were an object of abhorrence, hatred and scorn. Their money was tainted money; it would not be accepted in the synagogue.
  • Their oath was absolutely worthless. They could not be a witness in any court of law. If a man promised to do a thing for a Publican under oath, he was not bound to keep his oath.
  • They were looked upon as wild beasts in human shape.
  • They were outcasts, vagabonds, worse than the homeless curs that roamed the streets.
  • No decent man would have anything to do with them; no religious teacher took any interest in them.

But even with these. Jesus made friends. Not only did he speak to them, but he ate with them, went into their houses and sat down to the table with them.

  • It is one thing to talk down to bad men, giving them good advice, and quite another thing to associate with them.
  • But this man Jesus sat down and ate with the Publicans; he crossed the chasm over which no man of his day or generation was willing to cross. By doing this he lost his reputation.
  • He made himself of no reputation (Phil 2:7); he took his good name and tore it into shreds and threw it away – all because he was determined to be brotherly.
  • Although these men were so base, he recognized in them his brothers. They belonged to him and he belonged to them.
  • They were members of the human race, children of the great family of God and therefore, in spite of all that they had done and regardless of all that they were, he treated them as brothers.

Not only did this conduct make a profound impression on all succeeding generations that it has blinded to a fact that should never be forgotten: Jesus was the brother of everybody.

Loving the Wealthy Too

Christianity has often been conceived as a religion that is interested chiefly in the outcasts of society, in the poor, the sick, the depraved.

  • There are many who always think of Jesus as the friend of poor men, and of sick men, and of bad men, who never think of him as the brother of those who are rich and strong and good.
  • But it must not be forgotten that he was just as friendly toward the rich Nicodemus as he was to the poor woman at the well and that he was just as brotherly toward rich Zaccheus as he was to the poor beggar in Jerusalem.
  • Nor was he lacking in brotherly interest in the respectable people of his day.

If the New Testament makes the impression on us that he was more interested in the outcast and debased, it is because this interest in them was so exceptional that it made a greater impression upon those who wrote the story of his life than any other feature of his conduct.

  • The pious Hebrews of Palestine were tied hand and foot with the chords of traditopn but Jesus gave himself to the work of setting them free. The chords were tied tight, and he attempted to untie the knots.
  • But in his effort to give men emancipation, he stirred up animosities and awakened hatred which led speedily to his death. It was in his effort to untie the knots that men seized him, crying, “Crucify him!”

“Like His Brothers in Every Way”

When John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan, Jesus came down from Galilee to be baptized. John, when he saw Jesus approaching, cried out: “O, no, I cannot baptize you, you are too good.

There is reason why I should be baptized of you. This baptism is meant for sinners. I will not, therefore, baptize you.”

  • But Jesus would not listen to him; he insisted upon being baptized. He would identify himself with his brothers and sisters. “I want to be counted,” he said, “a man among men.”
  • It was not a question of whether he was good or not; it was a question of being brotherly. He refused to remain aloof to any movement that promised good to his country.
  • He subjected himself to the same action of which his fellow-citizens were in need. He took his place at the very beginning of his ministry among his brothers and sisters.

Radical Teachings

  • His brotherliness is also manifested in his teaching. He could not look into men’s faces without being pained by their confusion, their perplexity and their misery.
  • He could not see men passing on to the Judgment Day without telling them something about the great God in whose world they were living.
  • Whenever he saw men fainting and scattered abroad like sheep having no shepherd, his heart was moved with compassion on them.
  • When he looked into the tired faces of the Galilean peasants, his heart cried out, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28)
  • And not only was he brotherly himself, but to him brotherliness is the very essence of religion. Without brotherliness there can be no religion that is pleasing to God.
  • The old law had said that one man must not kill another, but Jesus went far beyond the requirements of that law.
  • He said that calling a man names was also wicked and would bring him into judgment.

One of his greatest parables is the parable of Dives and Lazarus.

  • A rich man fares sumptuously every day, and at his gate lies a poor sick beggar, his body covered with ulcers, with no friend to bring relief.
  • Only the dogs that prowl the streets lick the loathsome man’s sores.
  • Jesus says when that thing happens in this world, something happens in the next world. You can almost feel the heat of his indignant soul.
  • You can her him asking, “Do you suppose that inhumanity like that will go unpunished in the universe of God”
  • It was not because the rich man was dressed in fine raiment and fared sumptuously every day that later on he lifted up his eyes in torment.
  • Abraham was also rich and fared sumptuously every day, but Abraham went to heaven because he had a brother’s heart. This rich man went to hell because his heart was not tender; his sympathy did not go out to a brother’s need.

A Brother to the End

And how did Palestine receive this brotherliness?

  • It did not like it. Jesus was too brotherly; men misunderstood him.
  • They misrepresented him; they laid their plans to kill him; but they could not make him anything else than brotherly.
  • In spite of all their ugliness and vindictiveness, he went on helping them all he could, and when they laid their plots to kill him, he went bravely forward giving help, saying, “If I cannot help them with my life, I will help them with my death.
  • By dying I will convince them that I wanted to do good. I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me. When hanging on the cross, they will understand me as they cannot understand me now.
  • When they hear me praying for them with my dying breath, they will be convinced that I am indeed their brother.”

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    1 Comment

    1. Nathaniel Afamoh

      I enjoyed the teaching many thanks.

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