Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Other Son

Several days ago, my sophomore classes quizzed over the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. We will return in several weeks to take notes on the parable but this week, we concentrated on the older brother and whether he had the right to be angry. I laid out the scenario and substituted one of our students and his younger brother in the equation. Almost unanimously, the young people sided with the older son who was obedient. Most of the kids believe their parents, if they had the choice, would take the older boy over the younger, even though the prodigal turned out better in the end. When we cover the parable in detail, we'll point out the prodigal represents sinners who repent and all of us want mercy instead of justice. In the meantime, here are some thoughts of my students to the question, Did the older brother have a right to be angry?

I think he did not have a right to be angry. While the younger brother did act foolishly, family means that you're there even when no else is. I've never had a brother or sister, but I know that that's the type of bond that lasts forever.
-Jeannie S.

Yes, I think that the brother had the right to be mad at the younger brother. He messed up big time and should at least receive some punishment. BUT, the bigger and better thing is that he should have been glad that his younger brother came back to where he belonged and knew his way home. A GOOD SON ALWAYS RETURNS HOME.
- Sammy

I, countless times, have gotten angry when my younger siblings get no punishment for their wrongdoings. However, I should be happy, just like the older brother should have been happy. The older brother should be rejoicing because his own flesh and blood turned around from what could have been the things that destroyed his life. Since he repented, the older brother should be relieved.
- Andrew
The older brother had a right to be angry but he should have been angry that his brother wasted so much time 'dead.' He should have rejoiced that his brother returned and welcomed him in but instead he focused on the insignificant.

I think he does have a reason to be angry , because I know how hard it is when you try your best and get no recognition. However, on the other hand, he is still his brother, bonded by blood. Therefore, he should rejoice. I understand that jealousy is around the corner. However, as I was taught, you should be happy for your relatives'/siblings' achievements as they all make the parents happy. Look at the bright side; the younger brother repented, didn't he? It's not wrong to be angry but it is more righteous to rejoice for the younger brother. Obviously, every parent wants an obedient child. However, if they are hard-hearted, it is the same as having a heartless robot. Although the younger brother made many mistakes, he found his way home and repented. That's good enough for a second chance.
- Jessica

The older brother had a right to be angry , but he shouldn't have hate in him. His brother was being sloppy and lazy, and when he comes home, he gets a big party. If I were the older brother, I would be angry but not furious. There would still be joy in me if my little brother came back home and was alright. I would just comfort myself by thinking, 'this party might be the last gift father gives him in a while' OR 'at least he has no inheritance.'
- John

I think that the older brother had the right to be angry. But, he should have also been grateful that his brother had learned his lesson and repented for his sins. There should be justice to a certain point but there should also be mercy.
God bless,
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at

1 comment:


I hope you and your family have a great Sunday,

God bless you, Ron