It has all the pieces of a perfectly crafted drama: A loving, aged father, a rebellious son desirous to receive his portion of the inheritance and a brazened older brother stoically filling his post as the dependable drone. I’m speaking, of course, of our lesson text this morning found in Luke 15; the story of the Prodigal son. But, where’s the romance? Why is there not a woman mentioned in this story? Truth be told there’s plenty of heart-felt emotion in this drama; it’s just that Jesus chose to use characters that would best describe the self-righteous Pharisees he was addressing. Contextually, this story would have caused these pious perfectos’ a great amount of heartburn! You see, Jesus was referencing them when speaking of the older brother. The older brother demanded salvation. The older brother expected reward. After all, didn’t little brother go out and squander part of the inheritance HE was supposed to receive? That’s really the jest of his animosity, isn’t it? That someone else could receive what he deserved when they’re really not (at least in his eyes) worthy of it? And what about the younger? True, he was repentant, but good grief, lad. What were you thinking? How could you have allowed your base desires to have such a negative impact on the family’s fortune? Have you no couth? And to think you could come back and earn your way back in to the father’s graces? But, then…this story never really was about the older brother. Nor was it really about the younger rebellious son. No, this story is more about the loving Father than it is anyone else. Our attention has been directed to the brothers because of the chapter headings in our bibles, but Luke 15 is really a story about how gracious our Heavenly Father truly is. Take your attention off the boys and behold the generosity of a father whose love for his sons touches both in loving-linear fashion. Incredible. Our heavenly Father has enough love to share with each of his sons/daughters. We don’t have to argue for it, jockey for it or fight for it. There’s plenty to go around. Simply open your arms and receive it…graciously.
Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you! Kevin
Kevin Lough is the minister at the Whitehall Church of Christ in Fairmont WV.