Red Letter Day 36: The Prodigal's Brother
2015 Lent Blog
Wednesday March 25
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. `Your brother has come,’ he replied, `and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, `Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ “`My son,’ the father said, `you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'”
We read the bulk of this parable yesterday but the final portion is very important and it deals with the reaction of the older brother. He is in many ways typical of oldest child being the more responsible. He did not waste any money and has worked faithfully on the farm. All he can see is that he was never even given a goat for a party with his friends. In fact he calls his brother that “son of yours.” What is true here is that his love does not come close to the fathers love for his lost child.
I think the same can be said of us in the church today. We know Jesus cared about the lost so much that he was willing to die for us but also for others who may not even yet know him. How much are we willing to do for those outside the church? What is powerful about the second part of this parable is that is shows how God celebrates the lost being embraced with the grace of God and how sometimes we get a little envious. It reminds me again how gracious God is and calls me to celebrate with him. That is the amazing love of Jesus.
In Christ’s Service,