July 8, Today’s thought – The Elder Son

June 4 036Grizz likes bath water.

Good Afternoon

Luke 15:25-32
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:
But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
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.

Rylie has some thoughts about the elder son.

“But he spoke back to his father, ‘Look, all these years I have worked for you like a slave, and I have never disobeyed your orders. What have you given me? Not even a goat for me to have a feast with my friends!” (Luke 15:29, GNB)

In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the elder brother had serious personal issues! Not only against his younger brother who had been out running wild and blowing a fortune, but also against his father — who welcomed the ragged boy back home with open arms.

What was his problem? Simply this — he saw himself more as a slave, instead of a son. That’s what religion will do to a soul. It will fill you with an ever-deepening sense of inadequacy, which in turn drives you to reach higher and higher in an effort to perform so as to finally become accepted. And, it inflames you with a raging jealousy against anybody who seems to get in without having to pay the price you have had to pay.

I’ve often wondered how the story would have turned out if the elder brother had met the prodigal returning home before the father had seen him. “You’ve got a lot of nerve showing your sorry face around here,” I can hear him say. “You know you broke dad’s heart, don’t you? And thanks to you, my load of work has doubled! Why don’t you just turn around and go back where you’ve been!”

And I also wonder if the reason the younger brother ran off was to get away, not from his father (who was clearly loving and good), but rather to get away from his controlling older brother.

Remember the scene in Walk the Line, the movie about Johnny Cash and June Carter, when June is in the store and a lady walks up and says, “Your momma and daddy are good Christian folks.” And June says, “Why thank you; I’ll tell ’em you said so.” But the lady then says, “I’m surprised they even speak to you — divorce is an abomination to God!” It crushes Junes spirit, and as she turns to walk away, the self-righteous lady briskly dusts off the shelves in the store with a look of smug satisfaction on her face; after all, she has done her religious duty.

Jesus asked a most pointed question — “Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt?” (Luke 6:42, the Message). Yep, the Bible got it right when it said, “It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.” (Matthew 7:3, the Message).
O Lord, have mercy on us all . . .

Luke 6:42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye. KJV

Matthew 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Shall we check the mirror . . .Today?
With my prayers, desiring yours, Leslie

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