The Lost Son’s Tired and Bitter Brother

The Prodigal Son. The Lost Son. One of Jesus’ most famous parables. But what about The Prodigal’s Tired and Bitter Brother? Do you know that story?

You can read it in the Bible in Luke 15 here:

Did you notice how the father went out to meet with the older brother just as he had done with the younger son? What happens? His response is telling.

He is angry, bitter, tired and joyless. He has forgotten how to celebrate good things.

Too many times I have played the role of the older brother by attempting to attract and earn God’s favour by my effort. That’s not pretty and it looks like this.

Constantly working hard for my rewards. Begrudgingly measuring and monitoring my performance and striving to ensure favourable comparisons with others. It’s about keeping track, counting beans and inwardly reckoning that the Father owes me because I’ve done my duty by Him.

But what kind of son does that make?

One who is angry, bitter, tired and joyless. One who forgets how to celebrate good things.

One who forgets how to receive and live in his Father’s love.


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