Two Brothers

To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons.
(Luke 15:11 NLT)
Luke tells us about two sons.  The younger son forsook his father and his household for riotous living.  The older son stayed home and did all the right things for all the wrong reasons. There are none so far from God that live close to him without ever really knowing him.
The self-righteous older brother
I grew up in church and had all the perfect attendance Sunday school pins down one lapel and up the other one.  I made a public confession of my faith was baptized, which was expected of all young people in the church.  I was known as a good boy.  I tried to do the right things, especially on Sunday mornings. This all continued until one day on my college campus. I gave my heart to the Lord; then, I saw that I was not as good as I thought myself to be.  I was a lot more like the older brother in this story.
The younger brother spent all his inheritance on wild living.  He was living among the pigs, and even their food looked good to him (vs. 13-16).  He finally came to his senses v. 17).  Recognizing our sin is like finally seeing the obvious.  He realizes that he no longer has the right to be called his father’s son (v. 19).  Repentance never demands mercy.
The younger brother returns home and voices to his father the contrition that he has already experienced in his heart (v.21).  His father, being a type of Christ, treats him like he has never sinned, by clothing him with a beautiful robe and killing the fatted calf for a celebratory feast (v.22-23); enter the older brother.
The elder sibling does not seem to be excited about his brother’s return.  He was angry that his father was giving his brother what he deserved.  When our hearts are right with God, we always rejoice when a sinner repents.  It appears that all his good works have done little to change his heart.  He served his father, not out of love, but to earn what he felt he deserved, his inheritance.  Spiritually speaking, we can never receive anything until we realize that we deserve nothing.
Working for our salvation always makes us feel entitled.  Only the poor in spirit come to know Christ.
Image used with permission by Microsoft
Ken Barnes the author of  “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
[email protected]

Leave a Reply