“I HAVE A LITTLE BROTHER, TOO!”
A few years ago, our daughter told us that our granddaughter, Skylar, was given a piece of gum after one of her therapy sessions. Skylar immediately held out her other hand and exclaimed, “I have a little brother too!” I loved hearing that…loved that she was thinking about her brother…wanting him to have a treat too. Skylar enjoys sharing news with us about things that excite her. Listening to her delight as she speaks with us on the phone is one of our favorite pastimes. She always wants to share her latest joyful experience.
Don’t you think that’s how God created us? We love to share good news. Our own happiness is enhanced by spreading it to others we love. We wish for them the joy that we feel. So we speak of it and hope they will be blessed too. This is so much a part of human nature that our Lord had to command some, who had received special blessing from Him, not to tell others. His purpose in so doing was to keep His true identity as Messiah under wraps while He went about establishing God’s kingdom. But the folks so commanded usually found it too difficult to hold the good stuff in. They spread the news to everyone they could. Their joy drove them to it.
The prophet Jeremiah discovered that speaking God’s Word often got him into various kinds of trouble. Because of this, he determined, after a time, that he would no longer make mention of God or His Word even though that same Word was “the joy and rejoicing” of his heart (Jeremiah 15:16). But, try as he might, he couldn’t hold God’s Word back…couldn’t keep it in. He had to share it with others (Jeremiah 20:9). Doesn’t this remind you of Peter and John who stood before religious authorities who were demanding they shut up about Jesus Christ? What was their response to those who could and did beat them and who could have kept them in prison? “…We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:20)”
Isaiah said this, “ How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns! (52:7)” The runner hastens even over the rugged mountain terrain to share the wondrous news of peace.
Our Lord’s plan for spreading His Gospel involves this expected and rather normal response of people who have been saved by grace. They will want the same blessing to come to others. Yes…we definitely do have both commands and examples in His Word for the carrying forth of the Gospel to the lost! But surely we also feel this inner compulsion of love that leaves us no choice but to hold out our other hand and say, “I have a little brother…a little sister…too. I want this for them as well.” Our Good Shepherd leads us by His own heart and example to consider the “other sheep” who must also be given the wonderful opportunity of being part of God’s flock. May God help us share the joy of Jesus however…whenever…to whoever we can.