That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
Here are the words of a song:
You will notice we say "brother and sister" 'round here, It's because we're a family and these folks are so near; When one has a heartache, we all share the tears, And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear.
Becoming a Believer puts us into the family of God. We experience the new birth. Jesus taught us to pray, ‘Our Father, which art in Heaven…”. Jesus is not ashamed to call us ‘brethren’. We are joined in a spiritual union with every other person who has put his trust in Jesus Christ as Savior. We have a new citizenship, a new heavenly home, a new godly culture, a new family likeness. We can be far from home and meet another Believer who appears drastically different from us, but there is something inside us that immediately recognizes him as a brother.
Hanani may have been Nehemiah’s spiritual ‘brother’. He may have considered him a brother because they were both Israelites. He may have been his biological brother.
Jesus is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother. You may recall the image, ‘He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.’ Whether it is a biological brother, a brother-in-arms, a tried-and-true friend—we carry one another because of a mutual love and respect. To have such a brother-or sister-is one of the most treasured gifts on earth.
Such a relationship, as any true friendship, requires maintenance. The Bible says, ‘A man that hath friends must show himself friendly.’ [Prov 18:24] Acquiring a friend, and keeping a friend, carries with it a maintenance fee.
If you have such a brother, thank God for him, and then let him know you are thankful for him.