That’s what’s behind Jesus’s challenge to these Pharisees. These older brothers lived and worked in the Father’s house. They told the people how to follow the Father. Jesus knew the people were looking to them as a reference point of what the Father is like. And He knew there were a lot of older brothers totally misrepresenting the heart of God. (There still are.) These older bros were portraying God as a Father who is unreasonable, unpleasable, uncaring, and unmerciful. And it’s often the older brothers’ portrayal of God that sends prodigals to the Distant Country in the first place.
But that’s not the kind of Father Jesus described.—AHA Student Edition electronic edition