Doing unto others—together

There’s a story about two brothers. They farmed together, split the work, and split the profits. Each had their own granary.

One of the brothers had a family—he was married with some children. The other brother was single.

One day the brother who was single and lived by himself thought: ‘If is not fair that we divide the grain evenly. My brother has many mouths to feed, while I have but one. I know what I’ll do; I will take a sack of grain from my granary each evening and put it in my brother’s granary.’

So each night when it was dark that’s what he did. 

Little did he know that the other brother also had a thought: ‘It is not fair that we divide the grain evenly. I have many children to care for me in my old age, and my brother has none. I know what I’ll do; I will take a sack of grain from my granary each evening and put it in my brother’s granary.’

So that is what he did. 

Each morning the brothers were amazed to find that they always continued to have the same amount of grain.

One night, it happened. Perhaps it was inevitable. They met each other halfway between their barns, each with a sack of grain, carrying it to the other’s granary.

In that moment they understood what was happening. And they hugged.*

In Luke 6:31 Jesus says: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

When we do unto others, not only are we treating them as we would like to be treated, but we are reminding each other that we are not alone in the journey.


NEW podcast. “Warnings, woes, favours and doing unto others” is a podcast I put together of an in-depth look at Luke 6:17-36. You can listen here.

–*As told in: William R. White, Stories For Telling (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1986), 30-31.

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