Then the thought struck me: The story of Jonah has no denouement. No resolution. Neither does the parable of the older brother!
Jonah’s narrative ends with God rhetorically asking him why He shouldn’t be merciful to the Ninevites. The older brother’s story ends with his father begging him to join the party. That’s all. Why?
These stories force us to imagine what could–what should–happen next. We must put ourselves in the character’s sandals and search our hearts. Are we willing to forgive as God does? Will we put away our hypocrisy? Are we ready to love the prodigal and return home in our hearts?
God, the master Storyteller, knows when to leave us with a question.