A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (John 13:34 ESV)
I pray…for those who will believe in me through [the disciples’] message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20b-21 TNIV)
Another implication of being our brother’s keeper involves unity. Now, among Protestants, this seems to be a touchy subject. We revel in our autonomy, and we seem to interpret unity to mean that we lose this. But is autonomy really the best (or most Biblical) way?
You see, if everyone is taking care of everyone else, autonomy will be a non-issue. Why? Because we will, instead, be interdependent.
In Ephesians chapter 5, Paul commands,
Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. (Ephesians 5:21 RSV)
In this passage, Paul is commanding us to be imitators of Jesus. Rather than lording over and living His life separate from His disciples, He relied on them and served them. We are to act in a similar manner toward our brother. And this is the distinguishing mark of a Christian, or it should be.
People will know that we are Jesus’ followers by the way we treat each other. And when we treat each other properly; when we act as if we are our brothers’ keeper, a mutual bond forms. We serve each other. And through this bond of service, true unity is born.
More on this true unity tomorrow.