I Have A Blood Brother (or Two)

I have a blood brother.

A ketchup blood brother. When I was five years old, my family hosted an exchange student for a year. He was a seventeen year old from The Netherlands. His name was Jan. He loved Larry King Live, Pop Tarts, and WWF.

Sitting at dinner one night, towards the end of his stay with us, Jan opened up a ketchup bottle. He poured a tad on his wrist, and poured a tad on mine. We clasped hands and rubbed our wrists together. “Now,” he said in his Dutch accent, “we will always be blood brothers.” That tiny condiment made a mark on my five-year-old psyche. A symbol of sworn loyalty.

blood brother

Blood brothers.

Something about shared blood binds people together. A mystical bond that runs deeper than water.  One of the undervalued benefits of redemption, is the beauty that we’re adopted into a family. We’re taken off the dark road to wrath and put into a home as sons and daughters in a divine family.  We have a blood brother in Christ (Hebrews 2:11). Deeper than a red life source or shared genetic code.

We were bought out of our self-imposed slavery with the “precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19). This blood is not just smeared on our wrist in a ritualistic display, it covers and cleanses us completely for all eternity (1 John 1:7).

We have a blood brother. We have one who sticks closer than a blood brother (Proverbs 18:24). Ketchup or otherwise.

Jesus. Our elder brother/friend/Bridegroom/King/Savior.

He has sworn His loyalty to us forevermore, and signed that covenant with His blood.

May His mark be on us.

Bryan Daniels


Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

8 thoughts on “I Have A Blood Brother (or Two)”

  1. A little folly dispels great wisdom. So I will avoid common by mours here that will bring effect to that pointless cause and whole heartedly agree. In Christ and I speak as a reader of the word with a little understanding in practice of what suffering for your friends can produce, I can certainly say that the cross is the only satisfaction the world has and will ever or not as so God may choose, surely know. There is no other satisfaction available to mankind than denial of ones self for Christ’s sake. Where the world is you will find the complete opposite in attempting to find satisfaction with ad little pain and spillage of ones own blood as possible.

    1. Hey Bryan,

      I really appreciated this blog entry. It brought to mind a poem that I wrote called “we be brothers.” Since I have only one sister, I seemed to have spent considerable time searching for the brother that I never had. Participated in Boy Scouts and was part of the cross-country and track teams in high school. I pledged a fraternity my freshman year in college, as the quest for “true brotherhood” continued. When I was drafted into the Army in the late 1960s, I developed a close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, the friend who sticks closer than a brother, and I established a close bond other likeminded believers, some of whom I am still close to today.

      The initial inspiration for the poem was a line from a song written by a talented saxophonist and songwriter, the late Skip Mesquite, who penned a song when he tried to explain why was closer to his brothers in Christ than he was to his own brother by blood.

      In light of your comments, I thought you might appreciate this:

      We Be Brothers

      “Spirit is thicker than blood.
      Oh, yes, it is, brother.”

      Skip Mesquite
      songwriter, saxophonist

      men born again in brotherhood
      beyond thin skinship of the soul
      not blood but spirit makes us kin
      we be true brothers, brother-man

      I dig your gig, so rap to me
      and play the sounds I need to hear
      tune me in and play my number
      just call me on your saxophone

      soothe my soul with those mellow notes
      flowing from your horn of plenty
      man, make your heartsong melt my dark
      and paint my skies in sunrise hues

      I can escape the basement gloom
      to scale the palace stairs with you
      we climb to where the air is rare
      we be true brothers, brother-man

      Lonnell E. Johnson
      from Stone upon Stone: Psalms of Remembrance

  2. Iddison68,

    And I quote, “A little folly dispels great wisdom. So I will avoid common by mours here that will bring effect to that pointless cause and whole heartedly agree.”

    What in the world does this even mean?

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