Some may find me nutty, but I enjoy episodes of the 1960’s television program, Leave it to Beaver. It’s not entertainment for entertainment sake, but it’s a moral – and often a Biblical – lesson given in an entertaining fashion.
Watching the program has reminded me of how brothers can be toward each other. Eight-year old Theodore (nicknamed ‘Beaver’) is always trying to prove that he’s as much a man (strong, smart, talented, likable, able etc) as his older brother Wally. It’s a good-natured rivalry, but then, it’s also a 22 minute television program.
In thinking of the prodigal son and his self-righteous older brother, I’ve wondered about the rivalry they shared. How much of that rivalry formed the backdrop of the story but wasn’t revealed to the reader (Luke 15)?
Christians are spoken of in the Bible as brethren in the family of God the Father. In fact, the word “Christian”, by which we so often call ourselves, is only used three times in the Scriptures; a more common term is “brethren”, a revelation of relationship.
Like brothers, we are often sinfully prone to comparing with and competing against each other. We end up acting like participants in the television program Survivor, trying to “outwit, outplay, outlast” each other. The Biblical concept of family doesn’t include those dynamics; rather, it’s a relationship of loving each other in the same manner our Father loves us.
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous (1 Peter 3:8).