Angry at the father, but the father shows compassion

Luke Bible Background

04.16.2017 New Testament: Luke 15.28–32

To read the Bible in a year, read Luke 15.11–32 on April 16, In the year of our Lord 2017

By Don Ruhl

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus showed us the older brother who did not go away and live a wild life, but who stayed home, remaining loyal to his father. Therefore, when the younger brother returned and the father threw a party, that enraged the older brother,

“But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found’” (Luke 15.28–32). 

Can you believe that the father responded with patience toward his older son? The father did not rebuke the son. The father did not become angry with the son. The father explained the situation patiently.

The father represents God the Father, and the older son represents the Pharisees and scribes who complained that Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners, prompting this parable. The Pharisees and scribes were unknowingly angry at God.

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