The Prodigal Son's Brother

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    The Prodigal Son's Brother

    Did he have a point? He said:

    ‘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!’

    #2
    The moral of the tale is that you kill the fatted calf when someone genuinely repents and changes their ways.

    We ( the brother) shouldn't expect a reward or overt recognition for doing what we are supposed to do. He already has the benefits, a close relationship with his family.

    His point is however a well entrenched entitlement in many, as the riots showed.
    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

    Comment


      #3
      The message is that being a dutiful son is a thankless waste of time if you're not Dad's favourite, whoring boy who can do no wrong. It's not an enlightening parable, it's just how families work. And maybe the brother was a humourless bore.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by westminster View Post
        The message is that being a dutiful son is a thankless waste of time if you're not Dad's favourite, whoring boy who can do no wrong. It's not an enlightening parable, it's just how families work. And maybe the brother was a humourless bore.
        Ha! Precisely.

        Or perhaps I would qualify it, but only to 'It's how families, as represented in the crushingly awful, Alpha-Maley world of the Old Testament, work'.
        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

        Comment


          #5
          And that why the above two posts show why we are doomed.

          You aren't entitled to anything for doing what you should!

          You don't get a fatted calf for just pitching up, the tale is about redemption and forgiveness. And a chance to start over.

          Neither of which has anything to do with alpha male behaviour but are qualities which should be admired. But that's the blinkers of the politics of resentment.

          It is called grace and mercy.
          Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
            We ( the brother) shouldn't expect a reward or overt recognition for doing what we are supposed to do. He already has the benefits, a close relationship with his family.

            His point is however a well entrenched entitlement in many, as the riots showed.
            The brother worked hard in his father's fields and tended the animals. It seems to have been a prosperous family with several servants, yet the brother, in spite of his hard work and dogged obedience, was denied the occasional pleasure of enjoying that prosperity and celebrating with his friends. You assume he enjoyed a close relationship with his family - but where is that implied? If anything, it would seem that the brother was treated like one of the servants, expected to obey orders and not expect any fun with his friends.

            If you transpose the story to the present day, it'd be like a son living at home and working in his Dad's factory alongside the other factory workers, but not being paid enough to afford the occasional night out at the pub with his mates. Then his ex-drug addict brother shows up and Dad buys him a Gucci suit, a load of bling, and lays on a massive party. You're saying his reaction ought to be, pff, who needs friends, or a social life, or spare cash, when I've got Mum and Dad and cosy nights in watching Eastenders, and how fantastic that Dad's lashing out on a party for my druggie brother, it's the least he deserves for drying out and I'm certain he'll stay off the crack forever this time and won't sting Dad for any more money. No wonder Dad's thrilled.

            I don't think it shows a sense of 'entitlement' to resent the transparent favouritism. And I see no similarity between a dutiful hard worker who'd like to enjoy the occasional Friday night out, and a lazy good-for-nothing who's spent his life disobeying any adult within range and feels entitled to steal a plasma telly because everyone else has one.

            Comment


              #7
              Reaching for my NIV which Mrs LHA gave to me in 1984 the parable ( in the New Testament) started with the fortune being divided equally between them. So the other son had his share.

              The son after squandering, was starving, and returned confessing to sinning against his father and God and asked to work as a slave as they had more than he currently had.

              The father was prepared to do that and relented. When the older son whined the answer was

              31‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
              32 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.’
              Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                Reaching for my NIV which Mrs LHA gave to me in 1984 the parable ( in the New Testament) started with the fortune being divided equally between them. So the other son had his share.
                Sure, but it's like having shares in a company, and clearly the brother wasn't enjoying any dividends or he would've been able to afford to celebrate with his friends without Dad's assistance.

                The son after squandering, was starving, and returned confessing to sinning against his father and God and asked to work as a slave as they had more than he currently had.
                KJV Luke 15:18-21

                18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
                19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

                20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
                21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
                22
                But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

                The prodigal son didn't ask to work as a 'slave', he just thought about offering to be a hired [i.e. paid, unlike a slave] servant en route. Then he didn't even have to offer as Dad got out the Gucci suit and bling straight away.

                The father was prepared to do that and relented. When the older son whined the answer was

                31‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
                32 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.’
                Still no explanation as to how the hard working brother's attitude is, as you argue, akin to a lazy good-for-nothing looter's sense of entitlement.

                There's a good chance that after the prodigal son was accepted back, he cadged more money off the indulgent Dad and went on another binge. That's quite often what happens with prodigal types in the modern age, and druggies will steal from their parents, too. He probably left and got into drugs in the first place because Dad was unapproachable, and demanded constant obedience and working in t' factory for a pittance.

                Comment


                  #9
                  You really all have failed to understand the important message in this parable.
                  To know how rich you are, count the things you have which money can't buy.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by wilfred View Post
                    You really all have failed to understand the important message in this parable.
                    What do you take that to be, wilfred?

                    Welcome back, by the way!
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                      What do you take that to be, wilfred?

                      Welcome back, by the way!
                      Thank you.
                      Well before I disclose that, what does your book that you once stated you used in your family to confirm all religious arguments, say? Who knows, you may actually deduce the message from that. I will say, as with all parables there is far more to their meaning than what you first read. Come on LHA, you may understand the multi various lessons in this parable. I will give you a clue, who was this parable really aimed at?
                      To know how rich you are, count the things you have which money can't buy.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I am sure there are many ways of interpreting the parable. My understanding of it was always informed by the words that come a little before:

                        I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

                        I always puzzled over that. Perhaps someone can explain it. It seems to me to put the emphasis on sin rather than righteousness. This is odd as the saints are held up as models to follow. However, if you fail to follow them and then see the light this apparently pleases God more than doing as he ordered from the start.

                        Anyway, the point of the thread was to ask if the brother had a point and I think Westminster just about said it all.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          These parables were primarily aimed at the Pharisees, who criticised JC because of His friendly and helpful ministry among the people.

                          Remember he told them a Physician is most needed by them that are sick and that he had come to call sinners to repentance. JC then gave them 3 parables in a row to make his point in Luke 15.

                          The lost sheep, The lost coin and The prodigal son.

                          It was the duty of the Pharisees and scribes who personified the theocracy, to care for the lost and strayed, but they didn’t.

                          JC’s attitude towards the spiritually sick was of a devoted physician

                          His concern over the strayed sheep was that of a loving shepherd whose chief desire was to find them and bring them back to the fold. Look at the reactions of the woman who through neglect, looses a coin and the response of the prodigal son’s father, on each occassion there is rejoicing.

                          Can you now see the link between the Prodigal son's brother and the Pharisees?
                          To know how rich you are, count the things you have which money can't buy.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I hadn't looked back at this thread until know and as you can see the Pharisee's have a similar outlook to the brother that stayed home.

                            I take the view that of the 15 commandments, until Mel Brooks dropped 5*, what was lacking was a point of view, except God's instruction to do as we are told.

                            Christ's presence is about putting a perspective, and while I am uncomfortable with Paul's writings and codification, we would agree that Christ's mission, and sacrifice, is interwoven with the earlier commandments.

                            Matthew
                            37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

                            The whole point is that if you follow 39, the brother living at home enjoying already the benefit of family, the two sons in Matthew, those that are in the temple are doing what they are supposed to, and should have no ill feeling expectation or resentment toward reaching out to those that have erred and genuinely repent. Those feeling have no value to them as they are inconsistent with 39.

                            The whole message is that those things seem right to you if you are thinking as Christ wishes us to. By extension we welcome and support those who have erred and forgive them.

                            I understand that it's a hard thing to understand let alone practice.

                            * Moses to the Chosen " I have good news and bad news; The good news is that I got him down to 10, the bad news, adultery is still in"
                            Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                              I am sure there are many ways of interpreting the parable. My understanding of it was always informed by the words that come a little before:

                              I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

                              I always puzzled over that. Perhaps someone can explain it. It seems to me to put the emphasis on sin rather than righteousness. This is odd as the saints are held up as models to follow. However, if you fail to follow them and then see the light this apparently pleases God more than doing as he ordered from the start.
                              Yes, directly after the three parables which illustrated 'loss', this verse summed up the importance of the message.

                              The Pharisees and scribes were typified by the elder son in the ‘Prodigal Son’ parable, laboriously attentive to routine and working methodically in the field, BUT without interest except that of self, and unwilling to welcome a repentant publican or a returned sinner. They cared not who or how many were lost, so long as they were undisturbed in their heirship and possession by the return of penitent prodigals.

                              The elder son was the dutiful, hardworking heir, who although more faithful, was uncharitable and selfish in not forgiving others. He was ‘this thy son’, but never to him a brother, similar to the Pharisees outlook on sinners.

                              Do note that not a word appears in condonation or excuse for the prodigal’s sin, because upon that 'the Father could not look with the least degree of allowance', but over that sinner’s repentance and contrition of soul, God and the household of heaven rejoiced, as also illustrated in the previous parables.

                              The loss of a soul is a very real and great loss to God and his will is that not ONE should perish.
                              To know how rich you are, count the things you have which money can't buy.

                              Comment

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