This is one of the most popular parables in the Bible and it truly is a beautiful story of redemption. Today, my focus is on the older brother; the one who stayed at home and did “the right things”.
The younger son had been lured by the vanity of life and had chosen it over his family. I imagine that older brother had spent some time consoling their Father and had also taken up quite a bit of younger brother’s responsibilities (as if he didn’t have enough of his own). It’s therefore not so difficult to see some bitterness springing up in his heart towards his brother.
I feel it’s that bitterness that caused the anger he felt when he learnt of their Father’s response to younger brother’s return, A Party?!
It wasn’t at the fact that younger brother had returned but that Father, rather than mete out some well-deserved punishment, had deemed it right to welcome him back with much love and “rewarded” him with a celebration!
Surely, some of us can relate to his feelings.
The disappointment, hurt and even self pity, you sometimes experience when you “know” you have always done the right thing but somehow still ended up with what seems like the short end of the stick; surely, the bitterness and anger is justified.
How can Father possibly do this?
His Father came out and pleaded with him.
God created us with feelings and He’s always willing and able to calm the emotional storms we experience. We can be real with Him and let it all out because His love encompasses all that we are, Spirit, Soul and Body.
This is one of my favourite things about God.
People don’t always understand; Christians are often quick to dismiss the emotions of others and quote scriptures on faith, patience etc. I have heard pastors preach that God isn’t moved by our emotions but that hasn’t been my experience with Him. The many times I have felt disappointed or alone, the times I have cried, the times I had been too angry for words, God’s presence and comfort have always been a constant.
The thing is this, He is The Father and He cares.
Note that the Father didn’t rebuke older brother or get all preachy about his feelings, rather he pleaded with him. Need someone to talk it all out with?
God’s ears are ALWAYS open to our cries
Son, you are always with me.
Sometimes I watch extreme sports on TV and I marvel at how far people sometimes go to get a thrill. Most of the time, we can’t even comprehend how deep God’s love toward is, it is EXTREME.
I love reading the Old Testament and each time I reflect on the God’s unwavering love for the Israelites in spite of their constant unfaithfulness to Him, I shake my head in wonder. That is what TRUE LOVE looks like.
The Father-child relationship we have with God is PRECIOUS to Him.
Worship and serve Him still but choose to do so because He deserves it and not because you want something from Him.
Some years ago, God asked me, “Bolaji, if you never get married, will you still worship Me?” It was a tough question for me and it took several days before I could answer “Yes” and now as each day passes, I make a deliberate choice to keep saying Yes.
We have got to know in our hearts, without a shadow of doubt, that “the party” is not the big deal; HE is the big deal.
All I have is yours
God acknowledges our sacrifice of love and He always has our backs.
The party might be all everyone is talking about right now but it ends tonight and it doesn’t absolve younger brother of the consequences of his actions. The trust and privileges that were once freely given to him will now have to be earned all over.
You have unrestricted access to all that God has and He never withholds anything good from His children.
Don’t give in to envy, fear or depression.
Don’t give up on God,.
It was right……for your brother
The prodigal son is not just “this son of yours”, he is also “your brother”.
Never lose sight of this truth, we are Family.
Deal with the bitterness and anger you feel lest it separates even you from the Father (remember the OTHER older brother, Cain).
For me, the lesson in the dialogue between Father and older brother is this: don’t lose sight of the important thing and that, is RELATIONSHIP.
And one more thing, just as the Father forgave and restored sonship to younger brother, He will certainly do the same for you, when you fall from grace. Hallelujah