Jesus tells a third parable to the Pharisees and teachers of the law, this one is so familiar to us that I need not recount the details. Of course we know that the younger son who had taken his inheritance early went out and squandered it on wild living, ended up broke and in very bad circumstances and then having come to his senses, had gone home to beg his father for a job as a servant, believing that he was no longer fit to be called a son. His father rejoiced upon seeing him and threw a great party to celebrate his return, causing his older brother to harbor serious resentment; their father explained:
“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” (15:31-32)
Such is God’s attitude when a sinner repents, as we all know. Now, picture in your mind the vilest, the most unattractive, the least deserving kind of person you can imagine; yes, the one you would least want to be seen with that is the person we are talking about here.
When that person repents, God is in the mood to throw a party!
With this in mind, why do we not always share His enthusiasm?