Recently, our Pastor characterized the older brother of the Prodigal as being worse off than his lost brother. It reminded me of the days of my youth. I was always a Christian and a believer; yet, I felt lost. I, too, could not make out with my father and left home three times. My need was not for being saved again, but for being merciful so that I could receive mercy from my father. It would take me a decade to learn that lesson. This was precisely the problem of the older son. He was not lost, neither were the 99 pennies or the 99 sheep (Lk.15). He, like so many Christians - myself included, found or find it difficult to forgive those that left us holding the bag and then show up as if nothing has ever happened. Forgiveness is the second most important message regarding the Prodigal. No one can be reinstated into the family without forgiveness. For that reason, the father pleaded with the older son (Ja.5: 19-20).
It is the inherent ability in us to bounce back or recover from what is humanly possible and lead our life in a totally different direction. John offered the following, "Children, with God in you, you have already overcome; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (I Jn.4: 4, Greek).
The tinny ant said to the man, "to understand us you must become one of us." The man replied, "that is impossible and it is beyond our ability." "That is strange," countered the ant. "You can fly to the moon and explain how the world came into being. You used natural phenomena, like wind and earthquakes, to account for Noah's flood and the Exodus. Yet, you cannot communicate with us? In reality you humans are as limited in your world as we ants are in ours. There is no difference between your human hill and our anthill. Is there?"
For comfort we turn often to I Cor.10: 13. "God is faithful, he will not let you be tested beyond your ability; but if you are tested, He will enable you to endure what you are going through." Of course this is the way I understand the Greek and I shall explain why?