Bible Lesson: The Prodigal Son’s Brother

In Luke 15:11-32, Our Lord tells us the Parable of the Prodigal Son, a story which most of you have heard.

Consider, though, the prodigal’s elder brother, who is all bent out of shape because his father killed the fatted calf and threw a party for the son who came home. Most of us can easily understand the elder son’s jealousy, because we are sinners like him: we would probably react as he did.

Because I’ve been reading, all along, Notes on the Parables of Our Lord (first published in 1860) by Dean Richard Chenevix Trench–remember his lesson on the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, which I posted last month–and learning some good lessons from it, I said to myself, “Wait a minute! This is like the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, in which those who worked all day, and were paid handsomely for it, objected because the owner awarded the same payment to those who came late to the job.” And yes, the similarity is there.

To his elder son the father says, “Son, thou art ever with me“–he might have added, “as opposed to the other numbskull, who went out into the fallen world and almost starved to death”–“and all that I have is thine.” The elder son already had “all.” What more could he have asked for?

Dean Trench points out that the elder son, because he was his father’s son, had a perfect right to walk right into the house and join the party, where his portion of the fatted calf was waiting for him. Why didn’t he? One gets the impression that he wanted the whole calf for himself.

He already had all that he could have, and had been spared the experience of leaving his father and winding up in desperate straits. He lost nothing by the father’s forgiveness of the prodigal, and yet he was jealous. In truth, his jealousy and self-righteousness blinded him to the blessings that he had, and to the grace of his father, who was the source of all those blessings. Just as the vineyard owner, out of the goodness of his heart, was generous to the later hires, the father in this parable shed his grace on both his sons. And the one son was jealous and ungrateful.

As Steve Brown would say, “Now you think about that!”

19 comments on “Bible Lesson: The Prodigal Son’s Brother

  1. We have, in our family, something I liken to this parable – my sister became an atheist, which is a mystery to me in itself. I would greatly rejoice if she came back to Jesus!

    1. I’m not sure there’s much difference these days. Even some people who claim to be Christians are watered down, prosperity gospel and liberal. Unfortunately, they share many of the same views. For instance, my sister, raised in a Christian home, became a nurse and then a midwife. She is pro choice and holds many liberal views.

    2. Gresham Machen wrote that liberal Christians aren’t really Christians at all. I think he might’ve had something there.

    3. Sounds about right to me – no pun intended – but the further left one’s ideology, the further away from God one goes. We really must pray that somehow they awake, repent and ask Jesus into their lives.

  2. Comrades of the People’s Collective there has been another spontaneous outburst of workplace violence in the glorious People’s Republik of Florida:

    Look for Comrade President Hussein to condemn this extreme case of workplace violence after getting in 18 holes of golf.
    Forward to the coexist utopia Tower of Babel 2.0 kumbaya comrades, Forward!

    1. Arise, ye victims of oppression! It’s ever so much nicer when we oppress you, because we do it for your own good. Trust us on that. Democrats “R” Us

  3. @ Linda that is the true number of the devil.

    @Lee I was recently laughing about Ralph Nader’s comments on the special snowflakes of “collidge” who seem to think they are guaranteed to go through life and never be offended or experience a difference of opinion.
    I wonder if Ralph was ok with censorship and firs amendment limits by the crybullies of “collidge” when it was aimed at republicans and conservatives (rhetorical).

  4. Update to the Orlando gay nightclub shooting, the shooter was a Muslime and a registered democrat who worked for a company that transports illegal aliens, ISIS has claimed they are behind the shooting on social media.
    The father of the shooter claims he was upset by gay men kissing in public.
    But I thought we would all get along and sing kumbaya under the rainbow flag on our government funded unicorns while passing out coexist stickers?

  5. Interesting to see how the liberals try to spin this one. First, we must try to understand why we offend muslims so badly, then the old, worn out arguments that it is just the guns that do these dastardly deeds. In my home we always owned guns, several types, and not one of them ever got up and went out on a killing spree. Also, global warming is stirring up these disturbed babies, and they just can’t help themselves. It is all our fault, of course.

  6. Comrade President Hussein will blame the guns the Arkansas carpetbagger will blame the anti-queer climate created by the evil right wing bitter clingers, never mind that it took place in a gun free zone and just one person armed with a gun could have stopped it, this just in as regards who is to blame:

    Why didn’t the poor downtrodden anchor baby muslime Omar Mateen follow the gun free zone sign? A co-worker of his quit saying he was unstable and talked about killing people, the co-worker also says nothing was done because Mateen was a muslime.
    Mateen was a security guard with a permit to carry all over Florida and obtained the guns within the past two weeks.

    1. Well, our beloved leaders cultivated organized sodomy for all they were worth, and then decided to import Islam into the country–as many as they could cram in, as fast as they could.

      As desperately as the libs want it to be otherwise, rampant homosexualism and rampant Muslim jihad cannot exist under the same roof.

      This is what happens when you try to cobble together a ruling government based on a patchwork quilt of minority interest groups, each with its own agenda. The Romans were successful at it, but only because everybody knew that opposition to Rome would always, always be met with lethal force and that the Romans would always win: they would keep killing until they won.

      We can’t govern like that, we don’t want to–but I can’t speak for our comrades on the Left.

    2. And once again, this shows the hypocrisy of Islam – they say they kill homosexuals for Islam, and yet they rape little boys!

  7. The local Christian freedom AM station is reporting that the shooter worked with Das Heimat Schütze aka Das Homeland Security guarding court houses!?
    Also ISIS declared jihad against the state of Florida several days ago about the same time Omar bought the weapons.
    No gun control laws could have stopped this as carrying a weapon was part of his work requirement.
    Apparently the gay bar was a gun free zone and in order to enter you had to consent to be searched. Both side exits were padlocked. The shooter stood at the entrance shooting and no one could exit the locked side doors.
    After running out of ammo the shooter called 911 and pledged allegiance to ISIS while shouting Aloha Snackbar into the phone.
    This “Christian freedom” AM station is the only local station I trust for truth in reporting. In the interest of full disclosure I believe they get their newsfeed from the Central Bolshevik System or CBS.

    1. Thorston, Lol – Aloha Snackbar. The only other person I know of that says that is John Little. Are you, by any chance, an OmegaShock reader?

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