"Not my will, but Thine be done." (Luke 23:42)
There are two stories in the New Testament that leave us hanging on the edge and, if, like me, you have an inquisitive mind, you will have wondered what happened next. The first is the parable of the Lost Son in Luke 16.
This well known parable recounts the homecoming of a penitent, wayward son whose loving and forgiving father holds a lavish ‘welcome home’ banquet for him where everyone will rejoice with him….except the older brother! We read that he “became angry and refused to go in”. Complaining to his father, he says:
'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!' (Luke 16:29-30)
Graciously, his father responds:
“My son… 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.” (Luke 16:31-32)
End of story!
But wait, what happened to the older brother? Did he lay aside his pride, jealousy and resentment? Did he go in and welcome his estranged brother? Or was this the beginning of a lifelong bitterness? We just don’t know. Jesus told only what was sufficient for his purposes but I can’t help wondering what the ending would have been.
The second cliffhanger story is sadly a true story, not a parable. It’s the story of a rich young man who came to Jesus asking him what he must do to inhert eternal life. It was a good question he asked and, to the ears of bystanders would possibly have sounded genuine and sincere. When Jesus pointed him to certain commandments, the young man replied,
“All these I have kept since I was a boy." (Luke 18:21)
Jesus then told him clearly that he needed to sell all that he had, give it to the poor then follow Jesus. Unfortunately, this wasn’t good news to the young man. We read that,
“When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.” (Luke 18:23)
How often I have wondered what happened to this young man! Luke never tells us, probably because he didn’t know the answer himself. As Christians, we are are familiar with choices. We chose daily to act/react in certain ways that will either demonstrate our allegiance to Christ or our rejection of Him.
Here we have read of two men who struggled when faced with righteous choices. Some who read this will be facing similar circumstances. You too have a choice. What will it be?
“There are only two kinds of people in the end:those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’, and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done’.” C.S.Lewis
Copyright © 2014 Struthers Memorial Church All rights reserved
Struthers Memorial Church is a registered Scottish Charity No. SC 006960 | Struthers Memorial Church is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in Scotland Company No SC335480 | Registered Office: 33 West Stewart Street, Greenock, PA15 1SH.