Zoo Station

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Being the older brother

Posted by Chance on June 1, 2011

My pastor talked about the story of the prodigal son recently.  He focused not so much on the rebellious younger brother, but the “upright” older brother.  He basically said that the problem with the rebellious brother represented those who thought they were too rebellious for God to love them.  The problem with the older brother is that they think they are too good to need God’s love or grace.

This is a theme I’ve heard at church and through other sources recently.  Jesus came to save the rebellious who don’t deserve God’s grace, but he also came to save those who think they don’t need it.  Sometimes I think it is harder for the people who do all the right things, the responsible people, to move to a true relationship with God than it is for the rebel.  I think this can be true in terms of salvation, and also just in having a closer relationship with God.

In the story of the prodigal son, I feel like I identify with the older brother.  I’m someone who is responsible, got straight A’s, always did the right things, avoided the wrong things.  As a Christian, I try to read my Bible regularly and pray every day.  But I think the reality is far different from what I realize.  I’m someone who desperately needs God.  There was a time when I feel like I realized this every day; a time when I was confronting some sin in my life that needed to be dealt with.  During that time I felt like I depended on God everyday.  So the question is, how do I get back to this point?  Where I’m no longer the upstanding older brother but someone who desperately depends on God?  Perhaps the problem is that we need to realize we are all rebels.

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