“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” (Luke 15:31-32 NIV)
Last week I looked at the four responses of the older brother (I've always served you, I've never disobeyed you, you've never given me anything and 'but this son of yours'). Today I want to look at how the father in the story responds.
He actually treats both his sons in the same way. He goes out to meet them and invites them to come home. The younger son responds but we're not sure what happens to the older son - the end of story is left open. Maybe it's left open to make us think of our own response. Though we don't like to admit it, we're like the older son in many ways and have as much need of a homecoming as the younger son.
The father tells him two important things which we would do well to listen to: "You are always with me and everything I have is yours". I believe the Father says the same things to us. In the story, the older son couldn't receive it and my question for us is "can we?". Do you know that the Father is always with you? Everything that is his is yours too. I invite you to let these words of the Father sink into your heart; as they do, the servant-hearted responses of the older brother will begin to fade away.
(If you're interested, my complete teaching on this is here: https://vimeo.com/344836487 and I write about it in my book "Planted in Love" available as part of the special offer or on Amazon)