Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Lost Brother

This is a book first posted on Grace Connection, the Magazine. There is no printed edition. All 30 chapters will appear on the Wheel in the following weeks.

Chapter 11

Luke 15:25-32

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is not just a story about the relationship between the father and prodigal. When Christ described the behavior of the Elder Brother, he went beyond a defense of his association with publicans and sinners. The brother’s protest of unfair treatment forced Christ’s questioners to thoughtfully consider their complaints and criticisms of him.

The Elder Brother is dependable, conscientious, stable, and industrious. It is clear that his father could not have gotten along without him. He was working when the celebration for his wayward brother was planned. When he hears that the party is in honor of his brother, he is angry and refuses to take part, making it clear that even though his father loves the prodigal and welcomes his return, he does not. According to Kenneth Bailey, it was customary for a brother to publicly embrace and congratulate his returning brother. He would stand at the door of the house barefoot, as a servant, to greet the guests as they came in. He would show special deference to his brother who was the honored guest and move among the guests to see that everyone was having a good time.

Read more at Adventist Perspective.


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