Sunday, July 29, 2012

Prodigal Son Parable - The Son Who Stayed Home

"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field.  When he came near the house he heard music & dancing.  So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.  'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'  The older brother became angry and refused to go in.  So his father went out and pleaded with him.  But he answered his father, 'Look!  All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders.  Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home , you kill the fattened calf for him!'  'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me and everything I have is yours.  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again;  he was lost and is found.' "  Luke 15:25-32

I am more like the older son in this parable - not just because I am the oldest child but also because I have lived a conservative, loyal life and (I have to admit) I am more like the oldest son in the negative ways also.  Let's look at these verses a little closer:  What is the first response that the older son had when he found out about the party for his brother?  It was jealousy......and again I'm being honest but I think I would have responded in the exact same way.  It wasn't just a basic celebration - it was a party to end all parties, making that jealousy even stronger. 

The next response that the older brother had was anger.  Again, I think that would have been my next response but I hope I differ from this older brother in that I think I would have gone into the party in the end.  Not only did this brother refuse to accept his brother's return: this brother also pouted and refused to go into the party!! - What a big baby! 

I'm not sure if this is a typical trait of the "oldest child syndrome" but as a child I always made sure that everything was even.  Just like this brother saying:  "You never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends" (here's where the sad violin starts playing) - The "poor me" attitude.  In actuality this older brother had been so blessed and protected for his entire life.   I would never want to go through what the younger brother went through.

It all boils down to forgiveness.  The older brother has to forgive & forget what his younger brother did and then be thankful that he still has a brother to love and cherish.  The father had forgiven the younger brother even before he came home.

Let us not compare ourselves to each other - we are all different.  Let's forgive and be thankful.


  1. As an only child, I cannot really comment. However, would imagine it's a case it being easier said than done!

    Am back blogging again - posted last night and have several more "on the spike". Have just got to work out a balance between blogging, creating more Cuddlies and watching the Olympics too! Oh....decisions, decisions!

    1. So true.
      I will go to your blog now to check it out - thanks for stopping by!

  2. This is a great, traditional Bible story which teaches us a lot about forgiveness, just as you share above, Angie. We have learned from it for a long time. I would like to share more about this timeless lesson.

    For me the moral for our modern lives is to also take time to do something special for those whom we see everyday. Even though they may be automatic recipients of our blessings, they want to be treated in a special way sometimes. I'm not saying that I know the father never did anything special for the son that didn't leave. We don't know whether he did or not since that is not shared in the Word.

    Here is a possible scenario: There may be a man who never does anything special for his wife. When his sister comes from out of town, or his mother comes from out of state, he may buy them flowers, presents and take them out to dinner. If his wife asks "Why is it that you never do that for me. They don't even live here, but I cook, clean, wash your clothes and make appointments for you everyday. I am always here with you but why have you never made an event for me?"

    The husband may respond "But honey. I bought this house for you and I pay all of the major bills. You can shop with my credit cards and I gave you the best car to drive everyday. You already know that I love you. I only see my sister or my mother every now and then. I may never see them again, so that's why I make a big deal of it when they visit. You already have everything that I have, that I can give."

    But the one thing that she doesn't have is for him to treat her extra special every now and then. To observe him going out of his way for others is difficult to accept, if he never goes out of his way for her. This is just a fictional example. The players could be anyone and the situations are numerous.

    We should not cater to nor encourage jealousy at all, which is why the father explained to the son about how he was cared for everyday. But we can care more about the feelings of the ones that we are around everyday by going out of our way for them sometimes.

    1. Thank you so much - That is a wonderful addition to what I wrote and so true!

  3. A great lesson & especially appreciate Sandi Holland's illustration -- you know what they say, if the shoe fits -- guilty! Forgiveness trumps everything & is the great emancipator & leveller. Thanks, Angie, for keeping up with Blog! Love & Prayers, Cousin V. in Toronto


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Thank You.

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