Luke 15:28,31-32 (NIV) 28“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
31“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'”
In answer to the religious leaders’ question, “Why do spend time with sinners?”, Jesus told the story of the prodigal son. He included a little illustration about the leaders’ bad attitude. When the younger son returned home with a repentant attitude, the father threw a celebrations feast. The oldest son was out working the fields and could hear the commotion. When he found out it was a party for his brother, he was furious. No doubt he thought, “My brother blows a third of the family wealth having fun, and Dad throws him a feast! I can’t believe it! I slave away here on the farm, scrimping and saving, so my brother can blow it all.”
The father went out to try to resolve things by getting the older brother to look at the half-full glass. “You’ve got me, your father. You have all that is mine. We had to celebrate because your brother has turned from death to life. We lost him to his wandering desires, but now he has come to his senses. Don’t remain angry with him. Rejoice in the transformation.”
The religious leaders needed an attitude adjustment, a different perspective, just like the older brother needed. They were angry for the sins of the past but not rejoicing in the change that was taking place in these “sinners'” attitudes. How is your attitude toward the “sinner”? No doubt there are some of them in your life, or you may be one. This parable can help us see things from God’s perspective. What is important is that they have gone from death to life, from being lost to being found. Let’s share in Jesus’ joy when a “sinner” comes into our fellowship and enters the family of God.
Consider: Be careful not to have an older brother attitude toward those who have seen the destructiveness of sin and now come home.
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