In the 4th chapter of Genesis Cain and his brother were born. They grew and in time they both offered sacrifices to God. Abel offered a sacrifice from the animals. He was a keeper of sheep. Cain offered a sacrifice from the field. Not only did Abel offer God a blood sacrifice but the sacrifice he offered was the first born. God was pleased with Abel's sacrifice and he accepted it, but he was not pleased with Cain's offering. Abel's offering required him to kill a living creature but Cain only picked food from the field.
This difference in the sacrific
e they offered showed a difference in attitude. This difference between the brothers makes me think of children. It makes me think about when they are young how the parents supply their needs. As they get older and begin to have money of their own they begin to realize the value of it. I remember a time when my daughter began working. When we would go to the store and she would be very selective on how she spent her money that she had to work for. Why, because she had to put a lot of time and energy into a job. But if she had been spending my money there would have been no hesitation. It is easier to pick the plants from the field which did not involve much thought and effort than it is to kill something. I am sure Abel felt grief and remorse whereas Cain felt nothing, because his heart was not involved. How can I say this? Because after God told Cain his offering was not acceptable he became wroth which means he was full of wrath. But God who is a loving and merciful God told him he should not be angry, but if he brought him a proper offering he would accept it. We cannot just give God anything; we have to give him what he asks for. We have to give what he requires. Cain did not listen and one day while out in the field with Abel his brother, he killed him. God asked Cain, where is your brother? Cain replied, I know not; he is a grown man. I don't keep up with his whereabouts. (my words) Am I my brother's keeper? How often do we respond in this manner?
Why did Cain kill his brother? Because his deeds were evil, not because of something Abel had done but because he assumed Abel had done something. He assumed his brother was the cause of his so called grief from the Lord. I John 3:12 "Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous." Oftentimes this is our response, we get angry at other people because God is blessing them and accepting them instead of looking at ourselves to see what might be the reason for God not accepting our sacrifices.
We must ask ourselves, am I my brother's keeper. The scriptures tell us who our brothers and sisters are in the Lord. One day while Jesus was preaching to the people, his mother and his brothers came and wanted to see him but the crowd was huge and they were not able to get in and some of the people told Jesus, your mother and brethren are at the door and want to see you. Jesus replied, who is my mother, who are my brothers but they who do the will of my Father. These people are my relatives, these people are my family. When we are born into this world we have a natural family and then when we are born again of the water and Spirit, when we take on the new birth according to St John 3: 5-7 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again, we become part of a spiritual family
When we take on the new birth we then have a spiritual family and our family then consists of the people of God who become our brothers and sisters. So Jesus was saying now your family is a new family. You have been born again, you have been filled with the Holy Ghost and you are no longer who you used to be and now your family consists of the people who are called by my name. Cain said to God, "where is my brother? How am I supposed to know where my brother is? Am I supposed to keep up with by brother?" God replied the voice of your brother's blood is crying out from the ground. You've killed your brother. The scripture says if we do not love our brothers, if we do not love our sisters how dwelleth the love of God in us. Anybody who says they love God and does not love their brothers and sisters you are a liar and the truth is not in you. I John 4:20-21 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
The scripture also says in Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. We are we to do good unto all men, not just our brothers and sisters in the Lord. One day in St Luke 10:25-36 a lawyer came to Jesus and he asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus replied what does the scripture say. The lawyer said Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. Jesus said thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live and the lawyer said who is my brother? He asked Jesus this question because he was trying to justify himself. When we think about our neighbors we think of them as people who live near us. We think of this as someone who lives across the road from us or someone who lives down the street from us. These are the people we think of as our neighbors. Our neighbor is someone we can go to in our time of need. Our neighbor is someone we can go to and say I need a cup of sugar, can I borrow a cup of sugar. You might say I need some milk, or you might need some eggs, can I borrow something from you? I have a need, I need something. I need you to help me out. Your neighbor might be someone who you can go to and borrow tools from. You might be working around the house and see you need a screwdriver and you say let me go across the street and see if my neighbor has a screwdriver I can borrow. Your neighbor is someone you might need a ride from, so you call upon your neighbor to take you where you need to go. These are people we consider our neighbors, people who can help us, people we can go to in our time of need.
Jesus did not answer the lawyer, instead he told the lawyer a parable because he was trying to justify himself. Jesus said there was a certain man who went down to Jericho. He went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and he fell among thieves which stripped him of his raiment and wounded him and departed, leaving him for half-dead. This is what Satan does, he beats us up, he wounds us, he strips us of our raiment and then he leaves us for dead. When Satan leaves us for dead by striping us of our raiment he strips us of our love, our joy, our peace, our happiness, but the most important thing he tries to strip us of is our faith, because the scripture says in Hebrews 11:6 that without faith it is impossible to please God and if we have faith as the grain of a mustard seed we can say unto the mountain to be moved and it shall be moved Matthew 17:20. All it takes to move God is faith. Satan tries to strip us of the fruit of the Spirit. He tries to take everything away from us that God has given us because he wants us to die, he wants to destroy us, the scripture says in St John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.
Hence this certain man was coming from Jerusalem and he was going to Jericho, a city where priests lived. This man the robbers had robbed and stripped him of his raiment and left him for half-dead. So by chance here comes this man, this man is a priest, he is going down the road and he sees something. He sees something up ahead, he is not sure what it is, he stops and looks and says to himself, I wonder what that is, it looks like it might be a person laying there but I am not sure. If it is a person they might be dead or hurt or wounded. I do not know what is going on here. He says, well I am on my way to the temple, I am on my way to Jerusalem and I cannot stop to help this man. I cannot stop to see what is going on because if I stop and see what is happening and this person is dead or wounded and I stop to help then I cannot do what I need to do at the temple. I am going to defile myself and I will not be able to do what God called me to do, I will not be able to perform my duties at the temple so I cannot stop, I am going to keep going. I have got to get to the temple; I have got to get to where I am going. I have got things to do for the Lord. I have got a job to do, and he continues on his way.
Next here comes someone else. This person comes and he also sees something. This person is a Levite. He is coming down the road and he says, what is that up ahead, I do not know what that is, let me go and see what it is. So he walks up and he sees the person lying there, he sees the person has been stripped of his raiment, he sees the person has been left for half-dead. He sees the person has lost his joy, the person has lost his peace, the person has lost his strength, he sees the person has lost his faith, he comes close; he is personal, he sees what is going on, but he says to himself, I see that you are in need. I see that you are going through, I see that you have problems, I see but I cannot help you. I am on my way to Jerusalem to the temple. I have something to do.
I have got a job to do for the Lord. If I stop I will not be able to do what God has called me to do. I cannot help you, I see your situation, I see what you are going through, I know that you are having problems; I know that you are hurting. I know that you are weighed down but I cannot help you because the Lord needs me at the temple, so I have got to go. I have to play the music today, I have got to help with the food today, I have got to usher today, I cannot help you, and I cannot help you. I have got to go and do what I need to do for the Lord, and he continues on his way. Like the Pharisees who challenged Jesus for healing on the Sabbath day. They have the letter of the law but no Spirit. People who think it is more important to help in the service than to help someone in need.
Next, here comes someone else, this person is a Samaritan, this person is someone who is considered to be least of all people, the Samaritan's were considered dogs, they were considered to be people you did not want contact with, but here comes the Samaritan. He is coming down the road, he stops and he sees something in the road, he says I wonder what that is in the road, so he goes up to the person, he sees there is a man laying there, he sees he has been robbed, beat up, stripped of his raiment and left for half-dead. He sees the man has lost his joy, he sees the man has lost his peace, he sees the man has lost his strength; he sees the man has lost his faith, patience and temperance. He says I see your situation, I see what you are going through, I know you have been beat up, I know the devil has whipped you, let me help you.
He said I have got somewhere to go, I have got important business to take care of, but I see your situation and I am going to stop what I was going to do and help you. He goes to the man and he cleans the man's wounds, he binds up this wounds and he picks him up and puts the man on his own beast. He gets off his animal and he helps the man because he sees the man's situation, he sees the man is in need of help, he sees the man does not have any joy, he see the man does not have any love, he sees the man has lost his strength. He does not just keep going, he takes time out from his busy schedule, and he takes time out from his day, and helps the man. He helps him to overcome, he helps the man to regain his strength, he helps the man to regain his love, and his faith and he takes him to an inn and takes care of him. He does not just take the man to the inn and drop him off; he stays there with the man.
The next day when he departed he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and he told the innkeeper, take care of him and if his care costs more than what I have given you, when I come back I will repay it. He told the innkeeper, I have got somewhere to go, I have got some business to take care of, but I want you to take care of this man and when I come back I will make up the difference. So this man, this Samaritan who was considered as nothing, he was considered as a dog, he must have had character, he must have been a man of integrity because the innkeeper did not object, he did not say well I do not know about this, you might not come back, it might cost more than what you have given me and I might be stuck with taking care of this man. No, he did not object, therefore the Samaritan must have been a man of integrity. He must have been somebody the innkeeper knew he could trust. That is what God expects from his people, he expects us to keep our word, he expects us to have integrity, he expects our character to be one in which if we say we are going to do something, we do it, because people are looking at us, people see our actions and if we say we are going to do something and we do not do it then our word is not true. We must be someone people can trust.
Then Jesus said to the lawyer, which now of these three men were neighbor unto him that fell among thieves? Who was this man's neighbor? This is what Cain said to God, am I my brother's keeper? Jesus said yes, you are your brother's keeper. You are supposed to help take care of your brother. The scriptures say, in Proverbs 3:27&28 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.Therefore if your neighbor is in need and you have it in your power to help and you tell them go and come back tomorrow and I'll give it to you then the love of God is not dwelling in you, because the person is in need of your help right then and there.
They need it now; the situation is such that the help is needed now. Scripture also says in James 2:14-17 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? It's not going to profit you anything. Jesus said in Matthew 25: 41-46 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. He is going to say depart from me.
Many people are going to say Lord how can you say depart, when did we see you naked and hungry and in prison, Jesus said you have done it unto the least of these my brethren therefore you have done it unto me.
So we are our brothers keeper, we are supposed to look out for each other we are supposed to help take care of those that are in need. Amen, the scripture says, do good unto all men especially they of the household of faith.