“Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son” (v21). In Jesus’ story, there were two sons of a wealthy man, and the younger one wasted his inheritance on “reckless living” (v13). However, he eventually realized his mistake and returned to his father, confessed his sins, and was welcomed home. The older son had “never disobeyed a command” (v29), but he had no joy, because he didn’t value what he already possessed (v29-32).
“You are always with me, and all that is mine is yours” (v31). Obedience inspired by fear or by calculating a reward won’t bring us joy, but we find real delight in knowing the Father’s love.