Luke 15: 25-30
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!’
The last character we need to remember in this story is the elder brother. He is the one who never left home. Some might say Jesus is being unfair to him. He stayed home, took care of business, earned his keep, and his place at the table. Why shouldn’t he resent the grace offered his brother the prodigal - this “slacker”? What justice is thine?
We think the prodigal is the only one who left home, but spiritually the older brother never realized he was home. He never knew, accepted the grace of God or the fact that he was loved, not because of his work and faithfulness, but because he was God’s child too. All along he had access to all the father had, but he thought he had to earn it, deserve it. He saw home as a transaction, not a gift.
Let us come home by grace for we can never earn or deserve it!
Dear God, Thank you. We are brought home by grace. We pray and hope others will come home too. When they do, we will thank you, praise you, and celebrate their coming home. Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.