Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Just after David defeats Goliath, he receives the praise of King Saul. But someone else is watching, and that someone is Jonathan - Saul's son who ought to become king, if only Saul had remained faithful and retained the Lord's anointing. And in 1 Samuel 19, just after David comes before Saul with the head of the Philistine giant, we are told this:

After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 

Now, it's easy in the way that we read stories to think that Jonathan loved David because he was just as impressed with the young man's victory over the giant as everyone else. Because he had just seen what David did on behalf of Israel and well, that was pretty cool. Being perhaps roughly the same in age, they're like any boys - Jonathan is drawn to David because he thinks they could be friends. 

But that's not what this Scripture says. This Scripture says that Jonathan fell in love with David as a brother (other translations specifically say it this way) after he saw how the young man talked to his father.

And the same should be the standard for us. 

Most of us, as Christians, think that our brothers (and sisters) are those who talk to us in a certain way. In a way we can understand. They agree with us on certain things, things we've deemed non-negotiable. They worship the way we do. They pray the way we do. They preach the way we do. They break bread the way we do. They believe the way we do. They live the way we do. We are brothers with those who agree with us, as though the greatest judge of friendship - or better yet, kinship - is how we talk to one another. 

But that's not what this Scripture says. In fact, that's not what any Scripture says. Scripture says that we are brothers and sisters of one Lord, that we are bound together by our Christ and our faith, not our actions. Scripture says that it is a heart turned toward God that makes someone our brother or sister. 

In other words, we can tell who our brothers and sisters are by the way they talk to our Father

That's it. All of it. Right there. It's not how they worship or how they dress or what they eat or whether they cuss or how many tattoos they have (or don't have) or whether they dance, drink, or play cards or what version of the Bible they read or what denomination they belong to or whether they take the Lord's Supper every day, every week, every month, or not at all or whether they were dipped or dunked or sprinkled or how many WWJD bracelets and cross necklaces they's how they talk to God, how their hearts connect with Him, how they love and long for Him. That's it. 

We ought to spend more time looking at that. We ought to invest ourselves in seeing how faithful our brothers and sisters are, and if we did, well, maybe we'd find that we have a lot more of them to walk with in this world. Because that guy you're busy judging for his unorthodoxy? He's got a straight-as-an-arrow heart toward God, and that makes him your brother. That woman with a past she can't seem to shake? She loves Him and speaks boldly and vulnerably with Him all the time, and that makes her your sister. The one speaking in tongues, the one pouring the wine, the one sneaking in the back, the one sleeping in on Sunday, the one you just cast out and dismissed because they don't speak your language...they're speaking His, if you'll listen. And that makes them your brothers and sisters. 

Just like Jonathan with a young David, we ought to become one in spirit with them on this basis alone. 

It would change a lot of things. Including, but not 

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