The slogan for the down hill road to ruin.
A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father,
“Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me …” —Luke 15:11, 12
HESE first words contain the slogan for the down hill road to ruin: Give me
. This son acts as if an inheritance is a debt owed to him. An inheritance is a gift and not a debt. Asking his father for an inheritance was a serious breech of propriety unheard of among Jews. It was in essence saying I just can’t wait until you are dead
It was an insult to his father. But the sin in his speech was but the expression of the flaw in his attitude. It was not the inheritance that took him down hill. Leaving home was not what ruined him. Going to another country was not what ruined him. Daniel and his friends were taken from home to a foreign and idolatrous country; they were not ruined. That boy was headed downhill even if he stayed home. “Give me” marks the road down to ruin anywhere you are.
The elder brother stayed home. He evidently did not ask for an inheritance. Yet he also had a flaw —a serious attitude flaw. He was on the road down also. As a matter of fact, his problem was exactly the same as his younger brother. It is marked with “I” and “my” (v.29) and give me a kid.
We interview two sons both with expressions of a self centered person. However, there is a difference. The younger son picked the low road with wine, women, and food –the fleshly sins. The elder brother took the high road of respectable, attitude sins. Yet when it is traveled, the high road and the low road arrive at the same place — sin and misery.
Then as now, the high road sinner — the respectable sinner — despised the low road sinner. His words were full of contempt; his heart was empty of forgiveness. Observe his anger, petulance, pride, self-righteousness. He clearly defined in contempt his brother’s sins, but he never noticed his own sins. And that is a disaster –for his own sins are the only ones he can correct. So, there is no evidence the high road sinner ever returned to his father.
Bible Comments, 17, a publication by Joe Fitch originally intended for distribution among small congregations in Texas.
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