The next two days I‘ll be posting thoughts edited from James Ryle about the Prodigal Son’s brother. You can read the story in Luke 15:11-32. You would think that we would all rejoice when one returns to father’s house, the Bible tells of the one who stayed home and became bitter, even though all the father had was his. May we ever have a forgiving attitude and joyful welcome for the prodigal.
The Prodigal’s Brother
“But he spoke back to his father, ‘Look, all these years I have worked for you like a slave, and I have never disobeyed your orders. What have you given me? Not even a goat for me to have a feast with my friends!” (Luke 15:29, GNB)
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the elder brother had serious personal issues! Not only against his younger brother who had been out running wild and blowing a fortune, but also against his father — who welcomed the ragged boy back home with open arms.
I’ve often wondered how the story would have turned out if the elder brother had met the prodigal returning home before the father had seen him. “You’ve got a lot of nerve showing your sorry face around here,” I can hear him say. “You know you broke dad’s heart, don’t you? And thanks to you, my load of work has doubled! Why don’t you just turn around and go back where you’ve been!”
And I also wonder if the reason the younger brother ran off was to get away, not from his father (who was clearly loving and good), but rather to get away from his controlling older brother.
Jesus asked a most pointed question — “Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt?” (Luke 6:42, the Message). Yep, the Bible got it right when it said, “It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.” (Matthew 7:3, the Message). James Ryle editted
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Trust God for your day…Today