As Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 2 of The Prodigal God, he observes that the lost younger son didn’t corner the market on disgracing his father. The elder son took his turn as well. The elder son refused to go in and join the lavish feast for his younger brother, thus publically showing a vote of no confidence in his father’s actions. The elder son was furious about the cost of the feast. Moreover, now that his younger brother had been welcomed back into the family, he was once again an heir, cutting even more into the elder brother’s inheritance. For the self-proclaimed goody-two-shoes Pharisees, that was unconscionable. That was not justice!
But the elder brother wasn’t finished. His fury led to even more outrageous behavior, as he refused to address his father in a respectful manner. Yet the father still appealed to his elder son to come into the feast. We never find out, however, what the elder brother decided to do. Pastor Keller states that’s because Jesus is pleading with his enemies, the Pharisees, to respond to His message. Pastor Keller concludes:
“Jesus is redefining everything we thought we knew about connecting to God. He is redefining sin, what is means to be lost, and what it means to be saved.”
Today’s question: What aspects of your response to your ministry downsizing or vocation loss reveal a vote of no confidence in God? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Moral conformity vs. self-discovery”