The prodigal’s older brother

Recently, I’ve been studying Luke 15 and the parable of the prodigal son. The Lord Jesus Christ told this parable to address the self-righteous Pharisees. The Pharisees were upset that the Lord showed mercy and grace to sinners – he even dared to eat with them! As part of my study, I listened to a sermon entitled “Let’s Hear It For the Other Son.” Apparently, the man who delivered this message completely missed the point the Lord was making. Following are some quotes from his message:

I like the guy.

This kind of guy is what this Bible conference is all about.

Young people, you be like the brother who stayed home.

This guy over here is exactly the guy you ought to be.

It’s a wonderful party when a prodigal comes home, but it’s a continual party for the brother that never went into sin.

This man continually lifted up the older brother as an example for the young people to emulate! This man wanted his listeners to be just like the Pharisees that the older brother represented! What does the Bible say about the Pharisees? A generation of vipers (Matthew 3:7); hypocrites (Matthew 15:7); hearts far from God (Matthew 15:8); blind guides (Matthew 23:16); self-righteous (Luke 16:15). How could anyone want young people to emulate that? Sure, the Pharisees were good at keeping the letter of the law, but their hearts were far from God. Our young people need to hear messages that will draw their hearts close to God, not messages that tell them how to live the part of a self-righteous, unsaved, Pharisee. The use of the older brother as an example of someone to copy is a complete twist of this scripture and completely ignores the purpose why Jesus told this parable.

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One Response to “The prodigal’s older brother”


  1. I totally agree with your point there… Youth generation from this days tend to be like the older son, pretend to live a life close to their “Dad” and, without knowing, be as prodigal as the other son, but this time “in the house”. It is possible to be lost even if you are in church, trying to show some actions and faces what, you think, will place you in a good position in the fathers eyes, not like your little brother who is lost in the world.


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