“It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost and is found” (Luke 15:32).
Following both World Wars our nation celebrated! We did not necessarily celebrate the battles won, but the return of those brave men and women who went off to foreign lands to defend our freedoms! Tragically, not too many years later, following the Vietnam War, few celebrated the return of our brave soldiers. Many protested and seemingly despised those who had returned.
Such was the attitude of the Pharisees toward publicans and sinners and those found in such despicable company. They had little to no concern for anyone but themselves, especially as it related to the Gentiles. Jesus depicts this unloving and self-centered attitude in His parable of the lost son (cf. Luke 15:1ff). Following his brother’s return, a cause for celebration, he refused to rejoice. His refusal to celebrate demonstrated the Pharisaical attitude toward the spiritual well-being of others. They thought themselves to be God’s religious elite; yet, they had little to no concern for those lost in sin. When they should have been celebrating victory over sin, they were busy condemning!
May our hearts desire be that of the Father; that is, one of loving concern for the lost! And like the Father, may we stand ready, with open arms, to welcome and celebrate the return of those brave souls who’ve come back home!
Terry R. Townsend
Curry church of Christ