The older brother in the story of the prodigal son is the epitome of a hardworking, model citizen. He took care of his father’s business, we could categorically say he was honest, and he was never irresponsible. He was the guy who was self motivated. If we are to look at him, he is the type who would probably win the number one outstanding young man award.
But Jesus sees things we don’t. Underneath this veil of “perfection,” He saw a man who was just as lost as the wayward prodigal son, a man who needed the same dose of grace and the same love from the father.
Don’t think for a second that those who look okay on the outside are really okay on the inside. When Samuel lined up Jesse’s sons to anoint the one who will succeed king Saul, even he was impressed with the physical stature of David’s older brothers. God had to rebuke him and remind him that He is more interested in what goes on in the heart of the person.
Not judging the book by its cover is more than just a cliché, it is a spiritual reality that we have to learn and relearn everyday.