“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’

“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'” – Luke 15:28-32

This passage comes from the story of the prodigal son, but it is really about two sons. The older brother is mad because he feels slighted by his father’s mercy to the younger. But this only exposed the older brothers attempts to manipulate his father through moral behavior. All the older had to do was ask the father and he could have had all he wanted, but the older brother was as distant from the father as the younger. We can have all of the “right behaviors” and still be far from God, and it is joy (or the lack thereof) that exposes our heart.

Today’s commentary by:
Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor, GraceNYC.org

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