The Lord’s parable of the prodigal son has touched the hearts of many for generations. His inclusion of the elder brother holds at least three powerful lessons.
- It is possible for us to assume the place and privilege of a son while refusing the obligations of a brother. But being a Christian puts me in relationship with God as my Father and you as my brother or sister (Rom. 1:14; 1 Jn. 3:17).
- It is possible to serve the Father faithfully yet not be in fellowship with Him. The elder brother had no idea why the Father would rejoice at his son’s return. He worked in his fields; lived in his house; but he didn’t know his Father’s heart.
- It is possible to be an heir of the Father’s possessions yet have less joy than one who possesses nothing. The servants were happier than the elder brother. They shouted while he pouted. Blessing is found, not by demanding rights, but in assuming the posture of a servant.