lessons from the prodigal son's brother

Last night, I was reading a parable from the bible to the kids before bed. Unfortunately, the lesson of the elder brother is often overlooked in many of the popular retellings. Where are the consequences? What does Christ want us to learn from this third character of the parable? It is humbling to me to think that when I was in the wrong, there was the Father, watching, waiting. Editor’s Note: Our friend and longtime Meridian writer Larry Barkdull passed away. We have no mention of the second son’s waiting with his father, day after day, scanning the horizon for a familiar figure to finally appear. He wanted his share of the inheritance, and he wanted it immediately. I ”, Mom and dad also make the most parenting mistakes too, their lack of experience contributing to all His father might be willing to forgive, but by golly, he wouldn’t! Watch the video above and talk about it with a group or mentor. Or perhaps they regularly attend, but retreat to an area where they can sit alone and try to remain unnoticed–somewhere they can silently scream because of the pain of their circumstances. Christ never shunned the sinner. When nothing else works, they sit patiently with their Father and scan the horizon for the first motion of their loved ones’ return. We don't know what was felt by the elder brother after the father's explanation of his actions. What Are We Going To Do About Pope Francis? I will love you even if you … abandon your covenants. Was he really the dutiful son? We will … A Story of the Oldest Son in a Parable about the Prodigal – Parables Series 4 – Part 6. Self - Will 2. The simple lesson is that virtuous living kept the older son close to the father and that itself was a reward. It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.” (Verses 31-32) The father pronounced a great blessing on his elder son saying, “…all that is mine is yours.”. Luke recounted an instance when Jesus was eating with known sinners. [iv]         Moroni 7:47-48. The father gave his son what he wanted, even though he knew it was bad for him. They always have their antennae up, looking for opportunities to bring people to Christ. Stunning Photo Essay: Christ the Lord is Risen Today! Finally, we meet the elusive oldest son. After his prodigal brother departed, did the brother continue to criticize his brother’s actions by comparing them to his own? And everybody in the ward knew. Harsh judgment will turn them away; charity will embrace them and create a network of healing support. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! He dined with them. He was the one who enjoyed the father’s banquet. Both Paul and Mormon-two witnesses!-taught us that without charity we are nothing. They are not afraid to love: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear.”[vi] Rather, when they encounter someone who is hurting and who wants to come home, they show love unconditionally; they respond with their consecrated time, talents and means to embrace and rescue the tender prodigal. I’m the one who needs forgiveness. The Prodigal Son's Brother Chapter 15 of Luke is the start of a new discussion as Jesus makes his way into Jerusalem to fulfill his ultimate sacrificial mission. Both of the mother and the daughter could have made it all the way home, if someone had rushed to their side, helped them return, greeted them with a robe, ring, shoes, and thrown a celebratory feast. Instead, at that point, another major character is introduced, the elder brother, and with his story, another pointed lesson for the scribes and Pharisees—and especially for us. ” As any oldest child will tell you, Mom and Dad are never as hard on the youngest as they were on the oldest. She also writes a monthly column for Zenit.org. They are now settled in the suburbs of Northern Virginia and blessed with four children and three grandchildren (so far). But Christians do this all the time. Slide 4 of 10. Where is the justice? Your email address will not be published. To assume jealousy is to put words in the Savior's mouth. Reflecting on the older brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son should prompt us to do more than just drink from the font of Divine Mercy and seek forgiveness for our own sins. Cover image via JW.org. Download Lesson. Upon hearing the news that the prodigal had returned and was suddenly his equal, the brother reacted with anger and discouragement. This is the story Jesus Christ told in Luke 15. [vii]         Nibley, Approaching Zion, 53-54. Remember, the heart of the gospel message is The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin and The Prodigal Son. Desire your Father’s will, not your own will. He forgave them. He set the perfect example of being about his Father’s business, which is redemption. Verse 31 tells us how the father... 3. Hypocrisy is at its worst when it rears its head with harsh judgment or by idly standing by. 3 Things We Can Learn from The Prodigal Son's Brother 1. I AM the prodigal son. If he had been interested in his father’s concerns, why had he apparently abandoned his father to shoulder alone the burden of a lost son? Now she was afraid for her daughter, who also wanted to return to church, but this daughter was an unwed mother who was struggling to recover from years of drug abuse. Genuine love-charity-saving love-offers returning prodigals a soft place to land. The Sacraments: What Baptism Means to a Convert. I am always struck by the line in the story of the prodigal son “And the father saw him from afar off.” This means that the father was there, day after day, waiting, watching for the son to return. The Prodigal Son- From His Brother’s Perspective. We must also serve as a conduit of this mercy by joyfully welcoming the repentance of sinners and freely offering love and forgiveness to all those willing to accept it. Most prodigals will eventually try to return home, but if they have no loving, accepting friends waiting for them, they probably will not remain. Perhaps because I am an oldest child, I have always felt a kinship with this older brother who strode the straight and narrow path and always worked to please his father. “But for over 30 years, I have had congregations who are mostly made up of elder brothers,” Barnes said. Often the person who consistently seeks to be close to God through prayer, regular Mass attendance and simple love of neighbor remains anonymous, while the person who undergoes a radical conversion is treated like a celebrity. The return of the Prodigal Son is a time of great rejoicing, for the son who was once lost is now found. He judged that his brother was unworthy of the family’s love. Because He loves me. Each one of us can relate in some way to the parable Jesus told about a prodigal son, his father, and his older brother. More than likely, the prodigal will slip into church quietly the first time, hoping that no one notices the odor on his clothes or his unconventional appearance. The obvious one is in a far-off country where the Prodigal Son … This year the Gospel reading for Laetare Sunday included the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), an appropriate choice as we paused to break the somber tone of Lent and rejoice. In short we do not know the entire story. [ii] This incensed the Pharisees, and they challenged Jesus about the propriety of his actions. 1. The Prodigal Son and The Older Brother – What Were They Missing? She is a fellow with Human Life International and regularly contributes to the HLI Truth & Charity Forum. We might ask ourselves: At what point would my love cease for a family member or a non-family member? “What is the gospel […] Thank you for this fine Easter message. True sons and daughters of God will do the work of the Father and seek out their prodigal brothers and sisters. This selfish attitude betrays the boy’s true character. You thoughts were a welcome reminder to this first born. I will love you even if you … have an abortion. My vanity in associating with the ‘good’ daughter for many years was simply that – vanity. A couple days later, the younger son packed his things and traveled to a country far away. And like his younger brother, Jesus' audience would have been surprised to find out that he is not a typical oldest son. This parable is probably one of the most cited and most studied in all of Scripture and it fits well with this Year of Mercy. Doesn’t that count? We are sinners; yet God welcomes us with open arms when we see the error of our ways and humbly ask His forgiveness for our sins. I completely understand the older brother’s frustration. Yet I doubt Jesus was trying to highlight the penalties of being the first-born. And yet it is, after all, the main reason Jesus told the parable. In making the effort to come home, prodigals take a tremendous risk. I will love you even if you … yell at me. He judged that his brother was unworthy of the family’s love. Everything the father currently owned belonged to the elder son upon the father's death as the younger son had his share already. The moral lesson of the Prodigal Son, is there is always hope for RESTORATION! We are informed that when the prodigal son finally returned home, his father immediately reinstated the boy into full family fellowship, which was represented by the robe, ring and shoes. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. The older brother was suppose to be the good boy The Good Brother? “Charity is the pure love of Christ,” meaning the type of love that comprises the power of Christ to search out, seek, wait patiently, reinstate and rejoice. The younger son would have his room and board but would not gain again what he had lost. [viii]        Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign, Feb 1993, 64. The Prodigal Son parable is a call to reconcile and rejoice. Was he really interested in his father and his father’s concerns? In our relationship with God, we are all like the prodigal son, separated from our Father, by our self-centredness. It recounts a son's departure from his father's home, the lessons he learns, and his return, wiser for the experience. To me one of the morals of the story is that the Brother (like each of us) eventually had to come to himself. She and her husband John have been married for thirty years and have lived all over the United States, courtesy of John's Air Force career. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The one considered dead had … The Prodigal Son:. kinds of quirks. You can be a Christian and still fail to maximise your relationship with the Father He loved them. When he taught his disciples to pray, he instructed them to forgive those who sin against them just as they ask the Father to forgive their own sins. Yet this same pride blinds him to the hardness of his own heart. Daily news, articles, videos and podcasts sent straight to your inbox. I will love you even if you … drink, smoke, take drugs. Discovering the Story of a Forgotten Ancestor, Come, Follow Me Podcast #19, “What Lack I Yet?”, Matthew 19-20; Mark 10; Luke 18. It is the parable of the prodigal son. This is not the first time you have heard the story of the Prodigal Son, said the Rev. The father reaches out to him and pleads for him to enter and join the celebration. The prodigal son desired his own will, not his father’s … For example, Jesus makes no mention that this brother ever tried to talk his prodigal sibling out of leaving home or thereafter to go out and try to find him. No one came to sit by her; no one shook her hand. For example–. It begins with the Scribes and Pharisees grumbling because Jesus always allowed sinners to listen to him and eat with hi The central themes of these parables are the love of Christ, the value he places on a wayward soul, and his disdain for hypocrisy in people who ought to be about the work of the Father. She came to church for love and relief but she was met by Pharisees. We don't know his heart and mind. He refuses. This filth, or “pigpen,” is no place for a child of God to be fed spiritually. I get so enamored with … Older Brother Sin Luke 15:11-32 is one of the most famous parables in the Bible. But forgiveness is hard. The Parable of the Lost Son, or the Prodigal Son as many call it, has three main characters: The father and his two sons. My lengthy list of faults is living proof. There’s even a connection to Easter, as on two occasions the Father in the parable says, “my son was dead and is … So the father divided what he had, and gave part to the son. Sensuality - Sin 5. When he received news that his prodigal brother had wasted his substance on riotous living and was now eating with the pigs, did he say in his heart, “Well, at last my brother has received his due”? I don't judge the elder son. He always had his antennae up, searching for the one who had wandered, seeking the one who was lost, and patiently waiting and praying for the rebellious one to reconsider and start home. - Catholic Stand, The Eucharist IS the Body, Blood of Christ, Eugenics in America: The Legacy of Sanger and Gates, A Look into Heaven’s Stained Glass Windows, Words, the Blind Man, and the Road to Bethlehem. In this first blog we’ll look at the story through the eyes of the prodigal son. M. Craig Barnes at the 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning worship service in the Amphitheater. However, the last parable in the sequence, the Prodigal Son, does not end with the celebration of the return of the one who is lost. The line from the Hound Of Heaven applies “Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee, save me, save only me?” Guy McClung, San Antonio, Texas, Your email address will not be published. One of the exacting prices of becoming like God is to learn to love “even if.”. For years he was faithful and hardworking. Perhaps, prodigals are already among us and have come and gone for a long time. Parable of the Prodigal Son Part II, The Elder Brother A lesson in bitterness and forgiveness Pastor John E. Dubler Poison brought to the party: The celebration had barely begun when the resentments of the older brother became an issue. We wonder if he was relieved that he no longer had to associate with his sinful brother. The Father in the parable is a picture of the love of God, but the prodigal in this story is a picture of the life of sin. The parable of the prodigal son; sometimes termed “the lost son” as narrated by Jesus himself (Luke 15: 11-32); is one that shows God's incomprehensible mercy and love. Rather be with others than be with the Father 4. The prodigal’s brother proclaimed his righteousness, but had never lifted a finger to help his father bring his brother back. She had made a recent attempt, quietly sitting alone on the back row of Relief Society. It’s that sinful fault of mine (of many) that I have asked the Lord to help me with during this year. The scenario of the merciful father and the repentant son effectively models our relationship with God the Father. The image of a banquet is often used as a metaphor for Heaven. Then when his prodigal brother finally did return, he would not accept his brother as an equal part of the family. Hopefully, he did sooner rather than later. What Are We Going To Do About Pope Francis? True sons and daughters of God do the work of their Father. They pray with their Father, hurt with their Father, yearn with their Father, and finally they rejoice with their Father and support him in his decisions when their prodigal siblings come home. At that critical moment, a true friend could have made all the difference. [i]           Luke 15:11-32. He said, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. Faithful son 3. This third parable is 3 dimensional there is a lesson in the loving father, the prodigal son, and the elder brother. You can be a Christian and yet harbour wrong thoughts and intentions about other Christians especially those who... 2. Time often changes the way that we see things. But he is consumed by anger when he sees his sibling being welcomed with love instead of being condemned. While the younger brother might be his father’s son, he was no longer a brother to him. He is understandably offended by the pain the younger brother’s selfish and irresponsible behavior inflicted on their father. He expects the same of us. The older brother’s pride highlights the disparity between his own virtue and his brother’s vices. Jesus gave these parables to defend his preferring to work with sinners over his seeking the fellowship of the self-righteous. In every way, they do as Jesus does: they do the work of the Father. When the father came out to beg the second son to reconsider (notice that the father has now rushed to recover both his sons), the boy complained that he was being treated unfairly.

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