A Clay Jar

Encouraging, comforting, and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thess. 2:12 NIV)

The Prodigal's Older Brother

Luke 15:28-30

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“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 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. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

Luke 15:28-30 NIV

The fifteenth chapter of Luke contains three parables. Each parable emphasizes the joy in heaven when a lost soul is redeemed. The third of these is the Parable of the Prodigal Son. In this parable, a younger son demands his inheritance early, wastes it on wild living, becomes destitute, and ultimately returns home, hoping for a place as a servant. His father sees him coming and joyfully accepts him back, not as a servant, but as a son.

But this parable has an additional element that the other two lacked, an unhappy older brother. This brother had been faithfully serving his father all of his life. And he was not happy to see his younger brother, who had wasted all he had in wild living, made his equal. And he refused to celebrate his brother’s return to the family.

How many of us who have been believers for most of our lives have a bit of the older brother in us? Especially those of us who have never experienced significant stumbles in our walk. Can we embrace that prodigal who comes, or returns, to faith as a brother or sister? Or do we hold them at arm’s length until they have proven themselves, unable to let go of what they had been? The father’s message to the older brother is especially appropriate for us. Celebrate with them and be glad. One who was dead is now alive. One who was lost has been found. Rejoice with the angels in heaven. Embrace them into the family and be an encouragement to them.

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Ed Jarrett

Just an old clay jar that God continues to see fit to use in his kingdom's work. I am retired, married with 2 children, and 4 grandchildren. I have followed Jesus for many years. And I love to share what He has given me from His word.

A Note to Readers

The views expressed here are solely mine and do not necessarily reflect those of any other person, group, or organization. While I believe they reflect the teachings of the Bible, I am a fallible human and subject to misunderstanding. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions about this post in the comments section below. I am always interested in your feedback.

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