Bible Study Helps and Lessons
Once upon a time, there was a bird known as the Carolina parakeet. They were very abundant in the cypress swamps of the Southern States. But large colonies of the Carolina parakeet would also migrate as far north as Pennsylvania, and as far west as Nebraska! Even before European settlers arrived to North America, these birds were hunted for their colorful feathers. They were also considered agricultural pests because they destroyed fruit on the plantations. As a result, the Carolina parakeet was hunted to extinction. The last sighting of the bird was in Florida during 1920. By 1939, the Carolina parakeet was officially declared extinct.
But what many people don't realize is why the Carolina parakeet was able to be exterminated so easily. One reason the species declined so quickly was because of the parakeets' remarkable loyalty to one another. When one parakeet got shot, the whole flock would immediately return to try and help the injured one. Such unselfishness ended up jepordizing the entire flock and usually resulted in the deaths of all.
The early Christians also faced intense slaughter and persecution. Those Christians also demonstrated amazing loyalty to one another! Unlike the Carolina parakeet, however, Christianity could never become extinct. Such unselfish love only made Christians multiply faster! Even pagans marveled, "See how they love one another!"
In fact, this trait is what Jesus gave as the proof of our Christianity.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." - John 13:34-35 NIV