Today’s thought Jacob and Esau (January 15)

Today’s thought

Jacob and Esau

(January 15)

There is a degree of contrast between the brothers we read of in the Old Testament compared to the New. We read today in Genesis 27 of the friction between the twin brothers Jacob and Esau. We read earlier that Esau had despised his birthright (25:34) and Jacob bought it for some stew. Today we read that Jacob, at the prompting of his mother had ‘stolen’ the blessing Isaac intended for Esau (27:36) with the result that Esau had started to think of killing Jacob (verse 42). This reminds us of the very first set of brothers, Cain and Abel: also of Joseph and his brothers; further still of David and his brothers!

The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew (from the Maestà), c. 1308-1311.

Now when we come to the New Testament we are struck by the contrast; among the twelve disciples that Jesus called (Matthew 4:18-21) and who travelled with him were two sets of brothers, James and John and Simon Peter and Andrew. Now, there is no hint of jealousy between them, apart from the problem all twelve experienced (prior to the crucifixion of their Master) seeking to know who was going to be the greatest in the kingdom (Matthew 8:1-4).

Human nature seems to be such that brothers-in-the flesh fail to get on well together. However, when they come to Christ the scene changes for both are seeking to serve Christ so human frictions disappear under the influence of the his teaching. This should especially be the case when both are working side by side in the service of Jesus. It seems that Peter had at least one other brother apart from Andrew and this brother was causing him much frustration. We assume this brother was not following Christ. We will read tomorrow the conversation which Peter and Jesus have about this problem.

“Peter came up and said … ‘Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?’

Jesus said to him,

‘I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven’” (18:21,22).

In the spirit of Christ there is no limit to the attitude of forgiveness. The same applies to sisters of course! Do you recall what we read last week? Jesus said,

whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (12:50).

Let us all shed a little more light in this world of darkness by doing the will of the Father.

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Preceding

When we think of Jesus let us strive to realise what he means to us

Thought for those who think it is not necessary to do any works any more

Today’s thought “Forgive … from your heart” (January 16)

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Additional reading

  1. Disobedient man and God’s promises

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