Saturday, October 5, 2019

2019.10.05 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 15:25-32

Questions from the Scripture text: Who was in the field (Luke 15:25)? What did he hear as he neared the house? Whom did he ask about this (Luke 15:26)? What does the servant say his father has done (Luke 15:27)? How does the older brother respond (Luke 15:28)? And how does his father respond to that? What does the son say that he has done (Luke 15:29)? What does he say that he has not done? What does he say that his father has not done (that the son, apparently, wanted most)? What does he call his brother (Luke 15:30)? How does he describe what his brother did? What does the father present to the older brother as his first great blessing (Luke 15:31)? What does he present as his second? What does the father say about their making merry and being glad (Luke 15:32)? What does he say was the younger brothers previous condition? What does he say is the younger brother’s current condition?
What do we consider our greatest blessing? Is it to be with our Father? To know that all that He has is ours?

We’d love to tell ourselves that this is so, so let us be careful that we would seek out time with Him, to be content with what we have, and to have heart priorities that reflect His priorities.

When the older brother lodges his complaint—that serving and obeying dad was miserable to him, but his friends would make him happy—he exposes his heart. He doesn’t love his father or time with his father. How do we feel about time with our heavenly Father by comparison to worldly friends and festivity?

Also in the older brother’s complaint about the one thing that he defined as good (and that he did not have) was a judgment about all that he did have, and therefore a judgment about the goodness of his father. Doesn’t all discontentment in our own hearts expose a similarly wicked judgment on our part? Discontentment says, “My heavenly Father is not being so good to me as He could be, but if He would just do this thing that I have come up with, that I have defined as good, then He would be doing better.” Horrors! God save us from discontentment!

Finally, within the parable as a whole, we see a symptom of such a low esteem of God’s fellowship and God’s goodness: hard-heartedness toward others. If we are so wicked as to view God as hard toward us, we will be hard on others. If we are so proud as to think that God owes us for our service and obedience, then we will begrudge any good that comes to someone else. This was the real problem of the Pharisees. This was the real problem of the older brother. And, if our hearts are not rejoicing at the idea of God restoring the wicked to Himself, then this is our real problem too. God make us rejoice at God’s mercy to the wicked!
Whom are you tempted to wish ill upon? How can you foster joy at the hope of their repenting?
Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH340 “There Is a Fountain”

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