Last Wednesday, my five Bible classes took Test # 10 covering in depth the Parable of the Prodigal Son, sometimes called The Gospel In A Nutshell. Included were two short discussion questions. First, did the older brother have a right to be angry? The second part was to write a sequel about this family in ten years. One of my best students is a ninth grade young lady. Here are her answers used with permission. It's funny because most of my kids can separate the religious (i.e. someone repenting for sins) from poor behaving siblings who they tend to be much harder on!
Does the older brother have the right to be angry?
Yes, the older son has a right to be angry. He worked hard, did everything he was told to do, and was an example of what the younger son should become. However, the younger son was reckless, disrespectful, and unreasonable, and still he got everything he wanted. One side of me feels that the action the father took was not fair to the older brother. This is because I have been in the same position as him in the past. My mom told both my brother and me to clean the house and if we clean it well, we would both get a special present from her. I started cleaning my own part of the project, but my brother went off to play football outside. When I was done with my work, I called my mom to see it and she told me I did a good job. In contrast, my brother started his work 30 minutes after I started, and his result was much sloppier than mine. Yet he got more than an 80% better gift than I did. I felt bad because I put work and effort into my cleaning, however my mother recognized it. All the same, no one is perfect, because we all make mistakes at some point in our lives. But, we can still change to go back to God’s path.
Sequel to the Parable of the Prodigal Son:
In ten years, the family would be together, but not living in peace. The younger son would still make a lot of mistakes, causing financial instability in the household and leaving them broke. The older son worked hard and earned his own money and he decided to move out of the house. He was successful in life but he had no one to love him, and no one for him to love. So he returned to his home and finds out that his father is dead, and his brother is in prison for stealing money. He bails out his brother, and lives with him. Then, there finally was peace in the house, even if the father was not there to enjoy it.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Every parent is at some time the father of the unreturned prodigal, with nothing to do but keep his house open to hope."
*the picture is from www.ebibleteacher.com
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