Luke 15:28-29 The older brother became angry and refused to go in…Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat…
Is America like the “angry brother?”
Luke 15:11-32. Much is written about the prodigal son who because of his own lust and rebellion demands his inheritance before his father’s death to live life to the fullest. Of course, the illusion of the sinful plans quickly places the son in ruins. He has lost his fun, friends, and himself. Finally, he begins to think about his life with his father. The life he thought empty and dull were now suddenly rewarding and rich. So he decides to return home in hopes of becoming at least a servant in his father’s house. Just to get a portion of the blessed life.
His father on the other hand sees the lost son coming home. The father runs and reaches out his hands toward the lost son. This is before any confession or apology of the son. The actions of the father so overwhelmed the son’s expectations. He is accepted back into the family. A new family ring and robe are placed on the son and a feast given. Nothing is said about punishment or of the pain he caused the father. He is totally restored. This is a powerful picture of Christ’s love in action for us.
The “good brother’s” dark side. Anger, rage, self-righteous.
Now the prodigal son has a brother who witnessed all the actions of his little rebellious brother. The other son has not left the father. He is faithful, consistent, self-disciplined, and loyal. But he has a flaw. He too is a prodigal son in his own thoughts of himself. He feels his works and actions should recognize his father’s gratitude over the lost son’s return. He believes he is better than the son because of his actions. “Look at me, see what I have done. Look at my efforts.” It is a slippery slope when we are aware of our efforts and begin to think those efforts make us worthy of God’s grace. Slowly we change in our attitudes: Pride vs humility, works vs sinful repentance and, justification vs coming clean with ourselves before God..
We are all a part of the two sons. We experience sin and brokenness. We also justify ourselves by works compared to other people. While we may experience some security by not becoming broken and coming home for all to see the errors of our ways, we may be in more danger of losing the blessings of God through justification and comparison.
There is a greater danger in our hearts as we only look outward at the troubles of others. Christ said before you comment on others make sure your eyes are clean. I have had this truth slap me in the face as I see issues coming up in the media. We are all lost without God’s grace. It is not what we do but whom we believe in and follow.
The biblical account of the prodigal’s brother ends without repentance.