Am I My Brother's Keeper?

Article Index

The major text employed in this teachings is:
Genesis 4:8-16,24
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand; When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. And cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou has driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall i be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me. And the Lord said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. And cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly lamech seventy and sevenfold.
New Testament related texts are:

Galatians 6:1,2 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

1 Corinthians 12:12,22,25,26 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble are necessary: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
1 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 loveth his brother also.

God, in his infinite wisdom, has placed all the members of the church in one body. He has provided for the safety of each individual member. He has no other plan: He has no other purpose. This expression, on the local church level, demands a commitment, a loyalty, an involvement, a faithfulness.


Matthew 20:20-28 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshiping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saoth unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom. But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with? They say unto him, We are able. And he said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of my cup, and be baptised with the baptism that I am baptised with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
If you are going to aim for a position, you might as well set your eyes on the highest level. This is the desire of the mother of James and John.

When the ten disciples later heard of the duo's intentions, they were filled with indignation? Why? Because each one wanted the position of the highest level of authority: but, the mother and her sons struck first. Ah, the frailty of human nature.

The qualification for this position? Drinking Jesus' cup and partaking of His baptism of suffering! Can you handle this? Oh, sure! No problem! We can handle it!

You will be given the opportunity see if you possess the capability. The cup was very difficult for Jesus to embrace. He didn't want to drink it. He sought every possible means of escape. In resignation, He cried, "Not my will, but thine be done."

But the disciples? Nothing to it. We'll take the cup. We'll drink it.

They had no idea what lay within that cup.

Matthew 26:38-42 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
Luke 22:41-44 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Luke 22:31-44 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, that the cock shall not crow this day, before thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
Luke 22:61,62 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out and wept bitterly.
Acts 15:16 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

And the baptism of suffering?

Matthew 16:21-23 From that time forth began Jesus to show unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Luke 9:43-45 And they were all amazed at the might power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples, Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.

Jesus offers, "I can promise you the cup! I can promise you the baptism! I can not promise you the positions of authority for which you seek."

These positions will be occupied by the Bride of Christ; those who willingly embrace the will of their Father; those who willingly drink the cup and partake of Jesus' baptism of suffering.

If you would be great, become a minister.

The Greek word for minister is diakonos and is translated minister, servant, deacon.

If you would be the chief, become a servant.

The Greek word for servant is doulos. It means a slave in the sense of subjection or subserviency. It is derived from the root deo, to bind: be in bonds, knit, tie, wind.

A slave has no mind, will or purpose of his own. He seeks only to do the will of his master. He has no say in the food he eats, the clothes he wears, the places he goes, or the house he lives in.

Let every minister become totally dedicated to executing the will of God in his life. Let him have no other purpose than to please his Master.

Like Jesus, let the minister of the Lord not come to be ministered unto, but to minister.


From the charts on page three, two major facts emerge.

90% of the population of Malawi is located in the rural sector.

46% of the population is under 15 years of age.

City pastors, exhibiting the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the model Servant, hold the key to reaching the nation. Spanning the gulf between city and village, they can give of their resources to their less privileged brothers. With an attitude of "how may I effectively serve you", the strengthening, the encouraging, the blessing is realised.

The key lies in using what you've got. As small and as apparently insignificant, if all Christians will contribute their smallness to the Lord the objective can be achieved.

Don't look to America; don't look to Australia; don't look to any foreign power. Look to heaven; look to the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is your provider.

Be willing to share what you have. Don't even consider what you haven't got, what you would like to have, what you could do if you had more.

Remember the boy with the five loaves and two fishes. When he shared what he had, as small and insignificant as it appeared among so many, when blessed by the Lord Jesus, it fed 5,000 people.

Give what you have to the Lord. Allow him to bless it. Be prepared to share it with your brother, and you will see a tremendous miracle.

Jesus Christ is just the same today as He was two thousand years ago. He is the same miracle worker. He is the same provider.

God said to Moses, "What is that in your hand?" All Moses had was a rod, a branch from a tree. God said, "I'll use that." And with the rod, three and a half million slaves were set free!

What you need is already in your possession. You don't need things, you need a Person, and a willing spirit to share Him with other people. Will you share what you have with your less privileged brothers? Will you allow God to bless what is in your hand? Remember, the Miracle Worker lives inside you.

The other great fact that emerges is the preponderance of children across the nation.

Don't think that children are unimportant. They are the future Malawi. Perhaps a future president lives in your village or city. Children are the greatest investment any nation has. And you have an abundance of them.

Matthew 18:1-5 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Mark 9:35 And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all
Luke 9:48 And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

What an opportunity lies before us in reaching the nation for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Go to the villages, ministering what you have in the name of the Lord. Reach out and mould the lives of the children that cross your paths.

The destiny of the nation of Malawi lies before us. Will you respond to the challenge? Will you become an instrument in the hand of the Lord? Will you show the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Master Servant, and minister to these people?