The Good Son
I am the good son. That is a designation given to me by my brothers. It was born out of, what seem to them, a predilection of my parents to favor me. Was it true? Only in that I was more amiable to obedience and to stay out of trouble. I wasn't involved with drinking or drugs, excelled in school, went to college, have only been married once, and my children have all followed in my footsteps.
The problem with being the good son is that it can breed resentment in my brothers and arrogance in myself. My favor with my parents, if gone to my head, can lead to expectations of further favor and superiority expanding the chasm between my siblings.
Israel, as God's chosen people, where the good sons. They had found favor with God and were recipients of His oracles and laws. They were children of promise and through them the hope of the nations. As typical good sons they grew to believe that their favor was based on something intrinsic and began to expect God's favor regardless of their behavior. Yet, God's favor on them was an act of grace. It wasn't because they were better, but because they were chosen. They remained his chosen because of His mercy, but his blessing was given or withdrawn according to their obedience.
They were chosen, not because they were special, but because God had a special task for them. It was through them that the Messiah would come, die for man's sins, and then rise again in power. Their whole existence was to be a beacon to the world of how man was to relate to God, and His mercy and grace brought blessing to those who were obedient.
This is the mystery, that in Christ we (Gentiles) are now fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers in the promise! We are now the good sons!
Fellow Heir: We have received all the spiritual blessings of God necessary for life. The riches of God are ours. We are heirs to the kingdom.
Members of the same body. In Christ we are His body, but we are also brought together in a holy community to live out the love and grace of God. We are to be an example to the world of how to live in relationship with God and one another.
Partakers of the promise. We have received the promise of salvation, the promise of the Holy Spirit, the promise of blessing, the promise of community, the promise of strength, the promise of presence, the promise of deliverance, the promise of a glorious future, and the promise of eternal life.
We are, in Christ, the good sons, and we need to take care not to believe it is because of our goodness. It is the result of God's love and grace. We are not the new heirs but fellow heirs, and with it receive all the blessings and responsibilities. We are part of a community who are to live, care, support, and live together in Christ. Jesus promised us peace, life, and His continual presence as we abide in Him. What a glorious day when a Gentile is brought to faith in Christ and made a good son! I'm just saying....
Eph. 3:6 "This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel."