Luke 15 has been on my mind a lot and frequently appearing in my life. Pastor John Park spoke on this same passage of Jesus parable in Remember, He Had TWO Sons. Last night at Primetime we watch Tim Keller's DVD Prodigal God. The storytelling was remarkable in the video but most importantly the visual cues of a dinner table. Most folks have heard of this beloved parable, it was my first bible story I heard as a Christian attending a college small group. I remember weeping so emotionally relating to the younger son of the story. Jesus told this story of the 'lost' son to tax collectors and sinners. But recently I am remind by others Jesus meant the parable to be told to the Pharisees and self-righteous at the time.
The prodigal son story has two sons in the parable but most remember the younger son. Few actually remember the second act of Luke 15 of the older son. The older son had complained to the Father about his celebration of his younger son returning home. The older son does not want to join the celebration staying outside as the Father beg his older son to understand and reconcile in the house. The story ends on a cliffhanger without an ending of what the older son will do. I wonder what Jesus had in mind to teach the Pharisees about the older brother story. I believed Jesus told the story to bring about reconciliation between the tax collectors and sinners and Pharisees to feast on the dinner table. "Prodigal" I thought means 'lost' but according to Webster it means 'riotous living'. If Luke 15 is as much about the older son than the younger son, in what ways is the older son 'lost' or ''riotous living'? I often see myself relating to the older brother not because I'm the oldest in my family but because of the self-judgmental and self-righteousness expressed by him in the story to the Father. Am I more concern with my desire to do "good" than to seek God?