Scripture reading: Luke 15:11–32
Key verse: John 1:12
As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
You’ve probably heard and read Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son many times, and the emphasis of the lesson is usually on the wayward brother. No matter how badly he had behaved, no matter how much he did not deserve his father’s forgiveness, he received it anyway.
The one often overlooked is the other brother, grumbling in the corner while the party is in full swing. Many of us, if we’re honest, secretly identify with him. It just doesn’t seem fair. There he was, faithful and obedient all those years, and the “bad seed” got showered with attention just because he did something good for once.
Jesus was pointing out that both brothers were accepted into the same grace. The “good” brother did not realize it, but he was surrounded by the same unconditional love: “My child, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours” (Luke 15:31 nasb). The steady brother had simply lost this perspective and become mired in a hidden attitude of self-righteousness and pride.
You can rejoice when someone trapped in sin is welcomed into the Father’s arms. Remember, you were no better when He embraced you with forgiveness. It should remind you of your own homecoming and fill you with an eagerness to share the delights of belonging to the Father.
God, I am so thankful that You are my Father and I can never lose Your eternal love.