The Brother’s Heart

14th JUNE 2024

Christ for Youth International
2 min readJun 14, 2024


Christ for Youth International

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!’ [Luke 15:29–30 NIV]

In the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus tells a story about a father and his two sons. Much attention is given to the younger son, who squanders his inheritance but returns home to a warm welcome. The older brother had always been the dutiful son. He stayed home, worked hard in the fields, and obeyed his father’s commands. When his younger brother returned home after wasting his share of the family’s wealth, the older brother was filled with resentment. He could not understand why his father would celebrate his brother’s return, who had acted so recklessly.

The older brother’s reaction reveals a heart consumed by self-righteousness. He believed his loyalty and hard work should earn him greater favour and reward. It is easy for us to fall into this trap, thinking our good deeds make us more deserving of God’s love than others.

However, God’s grace is not earned; it’s freely given to all, regardless of our past.

He also missed out on an opportunity to show compassion and forgiveness to his repentant sibling. As Christians, we are called to extend the same grace that we have received from God to others. Instead of harbouring resentment, we should rejoice when someone returns to the fold, no matter their past mistakes. Moreover, the father reminded the older brother that everything he had was already his. Sometimes, we become so focused on what we lack or what others receive that we fail to see the abundant blessings in our own lives. Gratitude shifts our perspective from envy and dissatisfaction to contentment and joy.

Lastly, the father’s joy at the return of the prodigal son reflects God’s heart towards every sinner who repents. He celebrates each one who comes back to Him, no matter how far they have strayed. Understanding this helps us align our hearts with God’s, fostering a spirit of celebration rather than competition.

Heavenly Father, help me to learn from the older brother’s mistakes. Guard my heart against self-righteousness and envy. Teach me to be compassionate and forgiving, rejoicing in the return of those who have strayed. Open my eyes to the blessings You have given me, and align my heart with Yours, celebrating each lost soul that is found. Amen.

Further Reading: Luke 15:32

Bible In One Year: Psalm [71–74]

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