In Luke 15, Jesus tells the story of the two lost sons. In this first century parable, the younger son asks, or rather demands that his father give him what he would be given when he kicked the bucket. The idea that someone would request this is insane because the inheritance was always given to the older son first, and the rudeness of the younger son is palpable.
I used to see this father as somewhat of a push over because he doesn’t rebuke or question him. He could have asked something like, “What do you mean, you want to leave? That isn’t an option! Where would you go? What would you do?” The father doesn’t ask for his son to exercise patience, or embarrass him by singing a Sunday school song like:
Have patience, Have patience, don’t be in such a hurry.
When you get impatient, you only start to worry.
Remember, remember that God is patient too,
And think of all the times when he has had to wait for you!
Instead, the Father’s patience is his strength. His persistence to look for his wayward son everyday would strengthen his love for him. This action only added to the sense of relief and joy he felt when he finally saw him stumbling over the distant hill.
When he finally does come home, the younger brother has probably had the time of his life, and he’s only there because all good things must come to an end. As the older brother angrily argues with his father, “Why are you welcoming this son of yours home? All he’s done is waist your money on hoers, parties and expensive luxuries. He’s made his bed; he deserves to lie in it.” (Luke 15:30) The younger son knows this, and seems to be willing to do just that. However, he wants to do it at home because even the worst job at home is better than what he is currently doing. (15:17)
I see myself as the older son in part because I am an older son. I am also just as self-righteous as Jesus fictional character and I tend to stay around the house more often then my dad would probably like, I am willing to help and get stuff done, and though they joke about me being a rebel, the family would probably think of me as a pretty ‘good boy,’ not getting into trouble, but doing what he was told.
I wish I had a little bit more of the younger son’s mentality, a little bit more of a rebellious spirit. But it only goes as far as drinking a bear (rather than a Coke) with the guys at the Tuesday pub night. I feel like I am found in every sense of the word, I know that “everything that is His is mine,” (Luke 15:31) and sometimes I feel a little bit too comfortable in that fact. Is it possible to be ‘found’ so much that you feel a little bit ‘lost’?
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