What does it mean to be someone’s brother? If a guy buys a bike and a set of leathers does that make him your brother? Or do you ride a few roads together first?
True brotherhood can’t be bought. “I am my brother’s keeper,” is a common phrase heard in motorcycle club circles. But this level of dedication isn’t given freely. Brotherhood is tested and demands a commitment greater than you may have with your own flesh and blood. It also requires acceptance. You may not always see eye-to-eye with your brothers, but you’ve accepted one another so no matter how rough the road, you ride alongside one another.
This brotherhood of the road didn’t develop with the combustion engine. It is the way of an ancient band of brothers led by an outcast. This brotherhood included revolutionaries, hard-working men and hardcore thugs. But their commitment to the Way and to one another is as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. Jesus leads this brotherhood with a bond that is thicker than blood.
While Jesus was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and brothers came and stood outside because they wanted to talk with him. Someone told Jesus, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside and want to talk with you.” Jesus answered, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?”
Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “These are my mother and my brothers! Anyone who obeys my Father in heaven is my brother or sister or mother.” (Matthew 12:46-50)
Unlike becoming a member of a motorcycle club, becoming a member of “The Way” is not about earning a position. It’s an open invitation that just has to be accepted. The ride captain of this rally doesn’t require a particular patch, a badge, a record, or any type of accomplishment. He offers
membership as a gift to all who ask. Accepting this gift and joining a life-long rally doesn’t make all the roads smoother and it doesn’t make you high and mighty. It takes courage to follow the narrow road. It takes strength to be humble and know that you don’t always know the right path.
“Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate.” (Matthew 7:13)
As with any MC, you can’t be a brother unless you’re a part of the club’s meetings and rallies. You can’t know the way unless you attempt to learn from those who’ve been traveling this road before you. If you’re committed to this club, you need to learn about the road. Finding a church where you can learn more is an important part of this journey. But wearing certain clothes, a cross around your neck, or carrying a Bible does not make you a part of this brotherhood. It is a way of life.
“Jesus and the people he makes holy all belong to the same family. That is why he isn’t ashamed to call them his brothers and sisters.” (Hebrews 2:11)
This is what I can call true brotherhood and I am not ashamed to call these my brothers. In Christ, I AM my brother’s keeper.
R. Duane Gryder
See Section 3.32 to read more about true brotherhood.
In Section 5.21, you can read what Jesus said about “The Way.”