I didn’t become a Christ follower until I was a
teenager. As a young boy I used to
go to church occasionally with my grandmother and I always found it odd that the people in the church referred
to one another as “brother” and “sister.”
To me, it was a bit too intimate of a reference to bestow upon friends
and acquaintances. It just seemed
strange and out of place. At that
time I didn’t have the maturity to fully understand and appreciate the
Christian reference of “brother” and “sister” as a form of address of another
In chapter 9 in the book of Acts I read of a man named Saul who was, “…uttering threats with every breath and was eager to kill the Lord’s followers.” In the biblical account Jesus knocked Saul off of his high horse and then sent one of his followers to pray for and care for Saul in his time of need.
Jesus sent Ananias to lay hands on and pray for Saul and Ananias didn’t like this idea. He replied, “But Lord, Saul is the enemy. He is a torturer and killer of Christians!”
Jesus’ response to Ananias was, “Go."
It is in verse 17 of Acts 9 that this interesting story takes an odd twist for me. “So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’”
It is strange enough to refer to fellow Christians and friends at church as “brother” and “sister,” but “BROTHER Saul?” Why would Ananias do this?
Because Jesus said, “Go.”
Nearly forty years later I still don’t think that I fully understand why Christians would consider and address one another, and the people that make up the world around them, as “brother” and “sister.” I am still immature in this realm of my faith. 1 John 4:9-11 is a good place for me to begin to grow up in this area.
“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.”
Jesus said, “Go.”