Write this down: “What I look for is what I will find”
Jesus: Returns the lost to the fold. The coin is found after the house is lite and cleansed… in each case there is celebration!
The son takes all that father gives him, squanders it in and with the world… He let the prodigal go his own way… Romans 1, Consequences.
God loves you and has a plan for your life. Do you think it was in the Fathers plan for the son to leave? For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. – Jeremiah 29:11-12
The H. S. in Ephesians 2:10 tells us that we were “created In Christ Jesus for good works”.
A sinful state is also a state of constant discontent. Luke 12:15 says, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
The older brother was out in the field…
Music and dancing in the Father’s house?
Refusing to go in… no part with this sinner who had caused offense humiliation, hurt… Too often we wear blinders… rose colored glasses? What we look for is what we see….
Would not have fellowship with the Father because of the Father’s acceptance of this sinner… Notice the Pharisees would have nothing to do with Jesus over his eating with tax collectors and sinners…
Father/King/God – House/ Kingdom
Was the older son “In the Kingdom?” We put ourselves outside the Father’s house/Kingdom when we refuse to have fellowship with other believers! If He can love them, shouldn’t we? If He can accept them, shouldn’t we? If He can forgive them …
In Matthew 6 – For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
It had to be the older son’s way… “My way or the highway.”
These are two siblings who are both loved by the Father. Both valued, both wanted as part of the household, but each lost in their own way. Did you notice, however, that the Father went to each of them, that He reached out in love? Again, was it in His plan that the older would reject the younger brother?
Through this all we see the love of the Father, not only for the lost and the prodigals, but also for the ones who are doing the right things for the wrong reasons, for those who have drifted away, for those out in the fields but not part of the household of the Father…
Maybe you find yourself angry because of God’s blessing to someone else, or you find yourself talking like the world, putting worldly concerns before spiritual/Kingdom concerns… Are you more concerned for your own worldly kingdom than for God’s? See Haggai 1:1-11 (4, 9)
Maybe there is celebration over a new member or a new ministry and you find yourself resentful or even bitter because it isn’t you or yours.
One of the commentaries I read said this, “As long as the Pharisees stayed angry at the grace shown others, they stood outside the Fathers house.”
This parable ends with a purposeful omission. Did the older brother enter or not? And that is precisely what is set before the Pharisees and us: will we choose to be “In the Kingdom”… or not?
Will you refuse to be a part of what God is doing where He has placed you? Or will you enter into the Kingdom and work alongside?
Will we accept the love of the Father that is open and available to all who turn to Him? Or will we continue to work in the fields?
Are you looking for the Father’s Love in other people’s lives?
- How are we to treat others when they sin?
- Do you accept the sinner into the worship service/into the church?
- How do you show the Love of God to others?
Further Reading: 1 John 3:1-3, 4:7-21, John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 12:1-21, 13:8-14, Ephesians 4:17-32, 5:1-5, John 5:24, John 10:1-16, 27-30, John 16:7-15, Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Matthew 6:14-15, Colossians 3:12-17 (13), Ephesians 4:1-3