Christ Church – 7/10/2016
“I Am My Brother’s Keeper”
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If you are a first century Samaritan, having experienced racial prejudice from Jews, and you decide to follow Jesus, you are in a precarious situation. Jesus told you that you would suffer and be hated for following Him. So, you will be slow to pull the “race” card when you are with other Jews who now follow “The Way” who are blind to, indifferent to, or even participate in some of this same racism. After all, you follow Jesus. Your identity, value, worth and eternal flourishing are wrapped in Him, not your present circumstances.
One of your Jewish friends who now calls you brother starts to learn about all of this. They didn’t realize how bad it was. They have started asking more questions and learning more, mostly because recently they adopted a little boy who is a Samaritan. They want to be sure that they are loving their own son, as well as those who share his heritage. So, this Jewish Christian starts to speak on your behalf. It is his obligation to speak on your behalf. This is what is meant by him mourning with you, suffering with you, giving you what he has, walking with you, loving you as Christ has loved him.
He gets flack for it. Oh yes, people hate him for it. You feel bad for him. “Brother”, you say, “but you are now suffering yourself because of us”. The Jewish man says to you, “I have just walked one step in the shoes you walked in for miles”.