Luke 15:25-32 (NIV)
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
29 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.
30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32 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.'”
On verses 25-32: What an awesome time we had at Thrive yesterday looking at this passage together. If you missed the message yesterday, I hope you’ll catch it on our THRIVE Podcast, Facebook or Youtube channel.
I’m curious what happens next in this story. Does the older brother join the party? Does the older brother go from being religious to a rebel himself? Does the younger brother come out and find his older brother and apologize for leaving the way he did? Does the older brother forgive his younger brother? Is there a major change in the younger brother’s attitude after the party, or does the younger brother go back to his old, selfish ways? What happens next in the most famous story ever told? In a way, we get to choose what happens next, for all of us can relate to either the rebellious younger son or the religious older son.
If you relate to the rebellious younger son (and I think we all can to some degree), be thankful for the amazing grace and forgiveness your Heavenly Father has shown to you. Declare that the happiness and peace you thought you could find in the world is nothing compared to the joy, blessing and peace you have as a son in your Father’s house.
If you relate to the older son (and I think many of us can to some degree), realize that God has already given you all the rights of a firstborn son in his family: a double portion of God’s blessing as your inheritance, authority to carry on your Heavenly Father’s name, every spiritual blessing through faith in Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 1:3). Since you yourself aren’t perfect and need mercy when you fail, be compassionate and merciful to the people who fail or disappoint you. Remember that it is God’s grace, not our performance, that allows us to be children in His house.
Thank You Heavenly Father for all of Your grace, mercy, compassion, understanding, favour, blessing, acceptance and love in my life. I pray I would be less like the younger rebellious son or the older religious son, and more like Your perfect Son Jesus, a faithful child in Your house who realizes that better is one day in Your house than a thousand elsewhere. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!