A Wrong Attitude

Ronald Reagan’s attitude after the 1982 attempt on his life made an impression on his daughter, Patti Davis. The day following the shooting my father said he knew his physical healing was directly dependent on his ability to forgive John Hinckley. His daughter said that by this … More



The elder son comes in from the field to find a party for the younger son going on (vv. 25-28). In the illustration of the younger son in this passage, Jesus has made it clear that the publicans and sinners were guilty of the obvious sins of the flesh. At this point in the parable, he shows how the scribes and Pharisees were guilty of a wrong attitude and sins of the spirit (II Cor. 7:1). These scribes and Pharisees can see themselves in the person of the elder brother, who had his good and bad points.

The elder son was morally straight, a hard worker, and an obedient individual (v. 29). However, he was also proud and not willing to be thankful for his brother’s repentance. He would rather dwell on his brother’s sinful past instead of dwelling on his own sins. He was even angry because his father had forgiven his brother and was putting on a banquet to celebrate his return. He refused to go in and instead stayed outside and pouted. Because of this, he missed the joy of forgiving his brother and the restoration of the broken fellowship, as well as the joy of pleasing his father (vv. 30-32).

Even though obedience, hard work, and faithfulness are important, they are not the only test of character. Jesus taught that the two greatest commandments are to love the Lord and to love  others. The elder brother did the father’s will, but not with his whole heart (Ephesians 6:6).



Do you know of anyone who seems to prefer nursing their anger to enjoying the fellowship of God and God’s people? It is so easy for me to nurture grudges and even get angry because someone has said or done something against me or someone close to me. Lord, help me to have a heart of love and compassion toward those who might be considered my enemies.

Luke 15:25-32 (English Standard Version)

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