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!’ 31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
The picture of the loving father in the parable of the Prodigal Son is unimaginable really when we look at how we love others. I find this parable a great blessing. This part of the parable about the older son is interesting and challenging. Its easy to be confused by the picture – to think why didn’t God reward him, he did the right thing. This is a great reminder about how generous God is if only we would reach out. The older son did “the right thing” but didn’t understand why nor did he understand how the father thought of him. We need to engage with God, to reach out, to work with Him, alongside Him. When we work with God we see the world through His eyes and we have access to everything He has made – all the ri
ches of the universe.
The older son was as far away from really understanding what was going on as the prodigal son. They both needed to learn how much the father loved them and how life working together with him would provide everything. The prodigal son appeared to learn but the older son was just starting to hear when we leave the story. It would be nice to know what happened next.
I need to learn more about how to be the person who understands how You organize things, how You want us to engage with You. I want to learn the lessons of both sons and to live my life working with You not for You. Help me to see the picture you are painting here – really see.
Written by Therese Manning