The Prodigal Son and The Older Brother – What Were They Missing?

I want to share this story from a new perspective that the Father just dropped in my heart this morning.

I like to release a blog post on Saturday morning if I have time so when I woke up this morning I immediately began to ask God if there was anything specific that He wanted me to share. At first, anything I thought of went flat in my heart, but then I began to meditate on how I wish the whole world knew what I’m about to share with you in this blog post.

If you don’t mind, take a few minutes to read the story again in The Passion Translation:

The Loving Father

11 Then Jesus said, “Once there was a father with two sons. 12 The younger son came to his father and said, ‘Father, don’t you think it’s time to give me the share of your estate that belongs to me?’ So the father went ahead and distributed among the two sons their inheritance. 13 Shortly afterward, the younger son packed up all his belongings and traveled off to see the world. He journeyed to a far-off land where he soon wasted all he was given in a binge of extravagant and reckless living.

14 “With everything spent and nothing left, he grew hungry, for there was a severe famine in that land. 15 So he begged a farmer in that country to hire him. The farmer hired him and sent him out to feed the pigs. 16 The son was so famished, he was willing to even eat the slop given to the pigs, because no one would feed him a thing.

17 “Humiliated, the son finally realized what he was doing and he thought, ‘There are many workers at my father’s house who have all the food they want with plenty to spare. They lack nothing. Why am I here dying of hunger, feeding these pigs and eating their slop? 18 I want to go back home to my father’s house, and I’ll say to him, “Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. 19 I’ll never be worthy to be called your son. Please, Father, just treat me like one of your employees.”’

20 “So the young son set off for home. From a long distance away, his father saw him coming, dressed as a beggar, and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son who was returning home. So the father raced out to meet him. He swept him up in his arms, hugged him dearly, and kissed him over and over with tender love.

21 “Then the son said, ‘Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I could never deserve to be called your son. Just let me be—’

“The father interrupted and said,‘Son, you’re home now!’

22 “Turning to his servants, the father said, ‘Quick, bring me the best robe, my very own robe, and I will place it on his shoulders. Bring the ring, the seal of sonship, and I will put it on his finger. And bring out the best shoes you can find for my son. 23 Let’s prepare a great feast and celebrate. 24 For this beloved son of mine was once dead, but now he’s alive again. Once he was lost, but now he is found!’ And everyone celebrated with overflowing joy.

25 “Now, the older son was out working in the field when his brother returned, and as he approached the house he heard the music of celebration and dancing. 26 So he called over one of the servants and asked, ‘What’s going on?’

27 “The servant replied, ‘It’s your younger brother. He’s returned home and your father is throwing a party to celebrate his homecoming.’

28 “The older son became angry and refused to go in and celebrate. So his father came out and pleaded with him, ‘Come and enjoy the feast with us!’

29 “The son said, ‘Father, listen! How many years have I been working like a slave for you, performing every duty you’ve asked as a faithful son? And I’ve never once disobeyed you. But you’ve never thrown a party for me because of my faithfulness. Never once have you even given me a goat that I could feast on and celebrate with my friends like he’s doing now. 30 But look at this son of yours! He comes back after wasting your wealth on prostitutes and reckless living, and here you are throwing a great feast to celebrate—for him!’

31 “The father said, ‘My son, you are always with me by my side. Everything I have is yours to enjoy. 32 It’s only right to celebrate like this and be overjoyed, because this brother of yours was once dead and gone, but now he is alive and back with us again. He was lost but now he is found!’”

Luke 15:11-32 (TPT)

This morning I was thinking about how I want everyone in the whole world to know that this whole deal – the whole reason we’re here – is to both have and enjoy relationship with God! I believe understanding this is the key to living in rest!

Why did the younger son ask for his inheritance early? He didn’t have a close relationship with his father, therefore; he went outside of that relationship, looking for joy, peace and purpose.

Why did the older brother get so angry when his father decided to celebrate the younger brother’s return? He didn’t have a close relationship with his father either, but instead saw himself as a servant rather than a son. As a result, he looked to his works (his own efforts) to be good enough to enjoy relationship with his father.

Neither brother had a revelation of their father’s love for them.

I was just like the older brother before I discovered the truth about God on January 2nd of 2012.

I spent 34 years working for God’s approval, acceptance and love, not understanding that all that my Father was and all that He had, was mine!

This revelation changed everything for me. Now, every morning, I get up so excited about being in relationship with God my Father, God my Savior (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit!

I am a daughter of God. I am loved by God. I am accepted by God. I have close fellowship with God. Nothing can separate me from God. I am not in and out of His presence based on my behavior. I am in and I am in to stay. I am completely forgiven for all of my sins – past sins, present sins and yes, even future sins. I can go to the throne of God’s grace and receive help in my time of need anytime I want to!

All this and so much more is true of you as well if you have chosen to believe in and receive Jesus as your Savior. It’s all because of Jesus – because Jesus went to the cross for us and became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. We’ve been made righteous because of Jesus!

Obviously, all this was true of me since the first day I received Jesus as my Savior at the age of 8 years old, but just like the older brother had wrong beliefs about his earthly father, I had wrong beliefs about my heavenly Father so I went to work for Him instead of enjoying my relationship with Him.

I missed the point of salvation by a country mile.

And for all those who try to live their life outside of what they were created for which is relationship with God, they will also spend their time and energy trying to attain to something that can only be found in a relationship with God.

I may have missed the point for the first 34 years of my life, as a Christian, but I guarantee you I am making up for it now. If you have found, through reading this post, that even as a Believer, you have been missing the point of salvation or if you would like to accept God’s free gift of salvation for the first time ever, please come home to relationship with Him!

Here’s how I live now that I understand that it’s all about relationship with God:

  • When I get out of bed each morning I no longer look to attain any certain status in this world.
  • I do not feel I have anything to prove to anyone
  • I go to my CrossFit workouts each day convinced that I don’t have to reach a certain place on the leaderboard to be worth something; therefore, I can just go and be peaceful and joyful and do my best as well as genuinely cheering others on in their workout
  • I’m not trying to grow a big ministry
  • I’m not trying to appear perfect before people
  • I’m very comfortable in my own skin
  • I’m comfortable around anyone, the richest person or the poorest person. In my eyes, nobody is better than anyone else. Everyone is equally valuable!
  • I’m not trying to get to any certain place in life
  • This is the best feeling ever!!!!!

I could go on and on, but my point is, I don’t need to attain to any place or prove anything as a result of finally understanding and living out my true identity – a daughter of The King. No reason at all for me to go outside of this Divine romance looking for anything else. Believe me; I’ve got everything I need right here and whatever comes out of this most amazing relationship is exactly what I want to happen in life!

Of course, this is a journey and in no way am I saying that I am perfect in the natural. But the more I grow in grace, the more I enter a place of rest. It makes me very happy when I learn about another aspect of God’s grace that I didn’t understand before!

Both the younger brother and the older brother missed it. Thankfully, the younger brother came home and found his true purpose again and, although the Biblical story doesn’t say, hopefully the older brother came to realize that he had been a son all along.

It’s never too late, my friend, to jump off the hamster wheel of life and start living in your destiny which is close fellowship with the Father day in and day out. It doesn’t get any better than this. Believe me when I say, every other purpose God wants you to fulfill in this life will come directly out of your relationship with Him.

Will you join me and make it all about getting to know God more and more everyday. It’s an adventure beyond anything else you could ever attain to in this world! It’s what I live for now and I feel like a little kid in having the privilege to be in this amazing relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Yes, I experience trials in this world just like everyone else and yes, I fail to keep my eyes on Jesus sometimes and have to repent (change my mind) about the wrong way I’m believing and turn to Jesus and begin beholding Him once again

But once I got the revelation that I DO NOT NEED TO TRY TO GET ANYWHERE after finally figuring out that I AM ALREADY THERE IN CHRIST JESUS, I relaxed and began to enjoy my relationship with God like never before. I found the reason for my existence. I found the source of life Himself.

And now I want everyone on the planet to find this out for themselves!

In Philippians 3:7-16 the Apostle Paul said,

Yet all of the accomplishments that I once took credit for, I’ve now forsaken them and I regard it all as nothing compared to the delight of experiencing Jesus Christ as my Lord! To truly know Him meant letting go of everything from my past and throwing all my boasting on the garbage heap. It’s all like a pile of manure to me now, so that I may be enriched in the reality of knowing Jesus Christ and embrace Him as Lord in all of His greatness.

My passion is to be consumed with Him and not clinging to my own “righteousness” based in keeping the written Law. My “righteousness” will be His, based on the faithfulness of Jesus Christ—the very righteousness that comes from God. 10 And I continually long to know the wonders of Jesus more fully and to experience the overflowing power of His resurrection working in me. I will be one with Him in His sufferings and I will be one with Him in his death. 11 Only then will I be able to experience complete oneness with Him in His resurrection from the realm of death.

12 I admit that I haven’t yet acquired the absolute fullness that I’m pursuing, but I run with passion into His abundance so that I may reach the purpose that Jesus Christ has called me to fulfill and wants me to discover. 13 I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this; however I do have one compelling focus: I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead. 14 I run straight for the divine invitation of reaching the heavenly goal and gaining the victory-prize through the anointing of Jesus. 15 So let all who are fully mature have this same passion, and if anyone is not yet gripped by these desires, God will reveal it to them. 16 And let us all advance together to reach this victory-prize, following one path with one passion. (TPT)

If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!

Sandra McCollom

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Wow amazing article ! The part about being a son and not a servant to God was very deep to me .

Savarapu Krishna

Greetings Pastor Sandra McCollom in Christ Jesus

Here I would let you know that I am so glad to read the topic from your website.. “The prodigal son and the Older brother.. What were they missing..?” I am going to preach tomorrow in our Sunday service. Believe that our people will be blessed through this message tomorrow..thank you so much