And he [Jesus] said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he [the citizen] sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he [the son] would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found. Luke 15:11-32, KJV
This blog is longer than my usual Monday Morning Devos, but the entire proverb is here for a reason.
Jesus could have ended the story at the point where the prodigal son returned home and the father welcomed him so enthusiastically, but He didn't. There's a reason for that, ya know...
If you were to write the story of my life, it would be that of the prodigal son--or daughter, I guess, since I'm female. But one of my best friends is the faithful son--or daughter, since she, too, is female. For years, she couldn't understand why the focus was so much on the younger son, the wastrel.
The older son had been faithful, continuing to work with his father in their fields. And here his little brother comes back and gets all this huge party after wasting his entire inheritance.
Did you notice that the father says, "...all I have is yours..."? It was true. All that the father had left would go to the older son. The older son didn't lose anything by the younger son returning home. His father still loved him just as much as ever (and just as much as he did the younger son); the older son's inheritance remained intact.
You might say all the younger son received was the party, but no--he was also welcomed back into the family. No longer an inheritor, but still a son. He would not prosper from his father's death like the older son would.
So, which are you? The older son, the faithful one? The younger one, the one who realized his gross error and returned a humbler, wiser man? Or are you somewhere inbetween?
Prayer: Lord, please remind us, when we forget, that you love us equally. You love me as much as that one who remained faithful, never straying. You love the dirty, homeless daughter as much as You love me. Remind me if I should become proud that I'm not only Your most favorite child I'm also Your least favorite. That I goof up way too many times. That they are just as precious as I a. For Jesus's sake and in His Name, Amen