The Prodigal Son...
Would it be awful to say that I really don’t like this story? I think it is very comforting to know that if I wander away from God he will always welcome me back with open arms (this has happened), but every time I read this story I can’t stop thinking about the brother. In my own life I am very responsible, I am a great saver, I don’t take many risks, and I try to set my life up so that no matter what happens I am prepared (life is uncertain, I know, but I try). Because I have these tendencies I cringe at the younger brother who goes off and squanders all his money and lives this crazy fun, possibly sinful lifestyle. I think of him living the life I lived while in college and I was not a saintly college student! All that is nice for a while but I am not going to go do that any more because I am smart enough to realize that that has a bad ending! I have a hard time sympathizing with someone who is so foolish and an even harder time understanding why a parent would be so enthusiastic to see this prodigal son again. Every part of me wants to scream, “Hey, what about the brother. He did everything right. Doesn’t he deserve that fattest calf!?!”
I can definitely understand the frustrations of the brother in this story Even though I have had my wild years, my brother has had wilder. In fact I wouldn’t even call them
wild, dangerous and scary are more appropriate adjectives. And even though nothing makes me happier than seeing my brother turn his life around, I still understand the older brother in this story of the prodigal son. Did Jesus know when he told this story that some people would feel this way? I am sure he did, but I am not sure what I am supposed to get out of it. The lesson of the prodigal son is obvious if you can relate to the prodigal son. But what if you relate to the other brother, what is the lesson? What did God intend for me to learn from this story?
Lord, help me see the meaning. What lesson are you trying to teach.