I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice. Ezekiel 34:16
“The most of our brethren were unsparing in their exceeding love and brotherly kindness. They held fast to each other and visited the sick fearlessly, and ministered to them continually, serving them in Christ. And they died with them most joyfully, taking the affliction of others, and drawing the sickness from their neighbors to themselves and willingly receiving their pains. And many who cared for the sick and gave strength to others died themselves having transferred to themselves their death. And the popular saying which always seems a mere expression of courtesy, they then made real in action, taking their departure as the others’ ‘offscouring.’
Eusebius Pamphilius (263-339) in Ecclesiastical History, Book VII, Chapter 22.
In today’s Scripture text, the Lord declares how He will function serving as Israel’s shepherd. In the larger text, woes are declared on those who only care for themselves.
What posture should we take instead? In two words, it is brotherly kindness. Or, ladies, think in terms of sisterly kindness. This appears as attending to the needs of others with unselfish awareness.
Practically, we see this as getting a thirsty person a drink before getting one for yourself. It moves to thinking of this physical or financial needs before our own. At first it appears as care and it deepens to sacrifice.
But in today’s record from the history of the early church, we see those affected with disease are cared for with “exceeding love and brotherly kindness” and in so doing nursed to health, while the caregivers perished.
Are you willing to give your life in service to others? If not, perhaps chose another LORD rather than Christ. He desires no fair weather followers. If so, give yourself to brotherly or sisterly kindness.