25 ‘Meanwhile, the elder son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 “Your brother has come,” he replied, “and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.”
28 ‘The elder brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 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. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!”
31 ‘“My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 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.”’
The elder son can’t bring himself to forgive the younger son as his Father had done, no doubt there are many reasons why. One factor might be the feeling that his brother has been given so much for nothing whilst he has worked hard and has little to show for it. The Father’s response is fascinating – all that I’ve got is yours and always has been (verse 31)! What does this mean for us? Could it really be that all of God’s resources are ours to ask and enjoy now? We are already his beloved children, why live as strangers!