A common concern in today's world is the number of people who hold resentments and or ill feelings towards others. This accounts for a majority of the stress and wasted opportunities that many people encounter. Jesus, in His discussions with the Pharisees in Luke 15, describes three parables together -- the lost sheep, the lost coin, and a lost son. In the first two of these parables there is a lost object. Someone then must go out and search for it and bring it home. The shepherd searches until he finds the lost sheep. The woman searches until she finds the lost coin. When we get to the third parable of the lost son we're assuming that someone will go out to find him. But no one does! This causes a concern but also clearly indicates that there is a cost to reconciliation. Jesus is begging the question, “Who should have gone out to look for the younger brother?” What we need today are true elder brothers, like Jesus, who will not settle for anything but reconciliation at all cost. Jesus always welcomes sinners, but the issues that surround such are usually steeped with opinions, innuendos, and feelings of resentment. This is why the Pharisees had so many negative innuendos and opinions about Jesus. They just couldn't imagine God in the flesh that accepted openly sinful people in their world as acceptable to God.
Do you struggle with resentment and find yourself speaking unkindly about people you encounter on a daily basis? This could be a cause for concern and suggests that reconciliation might be what is needed. But remember reconciliation comes with a cost. The cost of reconciliation for the elder brother in Luke 15 would have been for him to go after his brother and bring him home at his own expense. This is a picture of “the true elder brother”. Aren't we glad that we have an elder brother example in the person and the work of Jesus?