Here's a shot of the dramatic telling of the prodigal son story. I realized today from Luke 15 that Jesus told it in response to religious people who were always close to God, obeying his rules and or at least WORKING HARD at it. They objected to Jesus eating with unreligious and 'unclean' people. Why?
Just like the older brother in the story, they more about their own so called love for God, than about seeing other people transformed by God's love. It hit me today that the Pharasees and teacher's of God's words were jealous of the attention 'the sinners' were getting from Jesus, God Himself.
The older brother in the prodigal son story, far from rejoicing that the younger son was found, like being back from the dead, He is jealous that the attention of His father is heaping on a person considered undeservering or 'less'.
The real thing that the older brother doesn't get is that the love the Father lavishes on his found son, is the exact same love he has for the older son. The Father is rejoicing because he not has a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how much love he has for his sons.
But he and the Pharisees are robbed of receiving that love because they won't join the party that rejoices over the lost, the messy, the undeserving. They don't see that rejoicing over the lost person, coin, or sheep just proves the value of ALL sheep, coins, or above all lost sons and daughters of God!
Self-righteous people won't join the rejoicing heart of the Father, which is mercy, and sacrifice and celebration. And in doing so they miss out on His mercy and celebration for themselves. But joining in the rejoicing of God's heart, we again taste and remember his mercy on us, in our own story of faith.
And realizing God's grace in our life is like renewable wind from heaven, power for doing what needs to be done, no matter how hard it may seem. Where do you fit in the story? Read it here: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2015;&version=31;