Best Big Brother Ever [Part 2]
By — April 17, 2017
Are you ready for some good news?
Jesus is the Son of God and, if you’re a Christian, you are a child of God. It means Jesus is your big brother. And He’s the best big brother ever!
Today’s Text: “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.” (1 John 3:11–13, ESV)
Our radio broadcast today continues in our exploration of the epic love of God described in the epistle of 1 John – a little book in the New Testament about the grandeur of God’s perfect love. Our passage today references Cain and Abel, two brothers who brought offerings to the Lord. God “had regard for Abel and his offering” but “had no regard” for Cain and his offering (Genesis 4:4-5).
For years I’ve wondered, “What was it that God liked about Abel’s offering that He didn’t like about Cain’s offering?” Commentators have proposed many different theories, but the key to understanding the text is seeing the Cain/Abel narrative as a display of the gospel itself. God showed mercy to Abel because He wanted to show mercy.
Grace is always a gift; it is not of your own righteousness. God wasn’t showing that He didn’t love Cain; He was just giving Abel a blessing in that moment that He didn’t give to Cain. It’s God’s prerogative to bless, as He desires to bless. God gives gifts to one person that He doesn’t give to another person. The question isn’t, “Why am I not as blessed at this moment as someone else.” The question is how will my soul respond to another’s blessedness? Can I rejoice in another’s blessedness or do I resent it? The heart that is secure in the Father’s love never resents a brother being blessed because God’s perfect love casts out the fear of unblessedness.
Because he’d been born in sin, Cain chose to become bitter, and his bitterness eventually grew into murder.
There is a chain of stories like this in the Old Testament – older, entitled siblings who resent the unmerited favor shown to a younger sibling. It was generational sin. Esau hated Jacob. Joseph’s brothers hated him. And, of course, the prodigal’s older brother hated the younger.
The Biblical drama builds upon the question, “Will there ever be a big brother who doesn’t resent his younger brother being blessed?”
Yes. His name is Jesus. And He’s the best big brother ever. As He was being cursed, He longed for you to be blessed. Let the richness of that news fill your heart and you won’t be like Cain, resenting the blessings of others. Instead, you will love like Jesus. And that’s the gospel!