In the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), the older brother is offended by the reception that his younger brother received from their father. He feels that his brother squandered all he was given, and as such, is not worthy of receiving a celebratory welcome where the fatted calf is slaughtered, much less have gifts bestowed on him.
We read the older brother’s particular objections in Luke 15:29-30: “So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him”.
Their Father’s tender response in verse 31 is astounding: ““And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours”.
As sons of God, we have the guarantee of two things from our Father: 1. He is always with us. 2. All He has is ours. Despite these promises, we do at times, live as one’s who never celebrated this truth. We hanker for a party with our friends, happy to settle for a goat, when in truth we have access to the fatted calf. God’s perfect goodness as a Father does not depend on our perfect goodness as sons. Our access to Fatherly perfection, love and resources, is also not based on our performance as perfect sons. All we need do is ask. There is but one perfect Son after all – Jesus – and it is through Him that we have access to the Father.