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The Prodigal Son Story


AeonJ

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who does the prodigal son represent and who does the stay-behind son represent? :P

That depends upon how you want to apply it..

Some say the repentant one is the more righteous, and the one that stayed behind was the self righteous.

I say that the one who spent his inheritance represents those who were given the truth of the gospel and threw it aside to live as the world lives, and when they do finally come to their senses (as every knee shall bend and every tongue confess) it will be too late to receive all that the Father hath-- but they will none the less be accepted back into the family with rejoicing.

The brother who stayed behind in my opinion represents members who endure to the end and who will receive all that the Father has.

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That depends upon how you want to apply it..

Some say the repentant one is the more righteous, and the one that stayed behind was the self righteous.

I say that the one who spent his inheritance represents those who were given the truth of the gospel and threw it aside to live as the world lives, and when they do finally come to their senses (as every knee shall bend and every tongue confess) it will be too late to receive all that the Father hath-- but they will none the less be accepted back into the family with rejoicing.

The brother who stayed behind in my opinion represents members who endure to the end and who will receive all that the Father has.

the beauty of the parable is, I believe, you personally can be any of the people mentioned at any particular time.

No matter what, you are the prodigal son. So am I.

All we like sheep have gone astray.

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I don't know who the stay behind or the prodigal son represent but I think it's a very interesting story. I think we all have a bit of the prodigal in us, as well as the stay behind. And I think both "types" can be instructed in this story.

What I find interesting is where the story cuts off. Cause it cuts off not so much finding out how things turn out necessarily for either sons and the father, but where the father sets the stay-behind-son straight by making him realize now is not the time to worry about how much attention your brother is getting-be happy that he has come back.

I sorta think more than anything it emphasizes that God's love and "inheritance" is not a scarcity-we don't need to fight amongst ourselves to get "our share." And I also think it is helping us to remember that we can come back, and that our motivations to do what our father wants us should not be so self centered. Even though the stay at home son is the good boy and has done right by his father, his need for acknowledgement and praise eclipses his ability to feel happy that his brother has not been lost after all. It's a very interesting story, and I think there's probably a bunch of different ways to look at it for insights.

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I agree with everything other posters have said. It is interesting that in Luke 15 Jesus uses "parable" instead of parables. So the previous two stories, to me, could be connected some way. I think the "faithful" son's reaction is a very real emotion and experience. It could be very difficult for some to see others get ahead and think they are left behind when in fact like the parable all that is the father's is their's.

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I think the story is about the difference between large and small sins. Except possibly in the manner of repentance there isn't much of a difference.

Both sons got all their father hath.

It's about the necessity of all accepting the atonement.

The jealousy of the older brother is a petty one but I've seen the same thing happen. A convert friend of mine joined the Church and was immediatly granted spiritual gifts I thought were advanced and that I SHOULD DEFINITELY have gotten first. He got the fatted calf. I didn't get the lamb. When I asked God why this was he said he needed it and furthermore I hadn't asked for either the lamb or the calf. Once I did my envy vanished and I got much good steak, lamb, and donner kebabs :P

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With all of Christ's parables it is important to look at the audience. The beginning of the chapter shows the Pharisees upset with Jesus spending time with sinners. Christ then shares a few stories explaining His love. Neither son is the focal point of the story. The waiting father is.

The story is aimed at those Pharisees who represent the older son, who thinking that he is righteous, actually betrays his true nature with his hatred of the Father's grace and forgiveness.

How do we react, when God showers His blessings on others that we feel aren't as worthy as we are?

"rejoice with those that rejoice and weep with those who weep"

(that 2nd part is so much easier!)

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I think we sometimes try to read too much into this parable. The prodigal son cannot be an exact parallel because the younger son could NOT have received all of his father's possessions no matter how obedient he had been. That wasn't how inheritance laws worked back then. The older son (unless he was disinherited) would always receive the greatest portion. Since we believe that we can ALL become joint heirs with Christ, I agree with the posters who said that this illustrates that our eternal inheritance is much different (and much greater) than our earthly ones.

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who does the prodigal son represent and who does the stay-behind son represent? :P

The prodigal son is me.

The "stay-behind-son" is also me.

During different seasons of my life and of my understanding of God's actual gospel.....I have personally been both the prodigal, in search of forgiveness and reconciliation (and receiving it although I did not deserve it) as well as having been, personally, in the position of the "stay-behind-son" -- feeling a bit of resentment at how "easily" some people around me have "gotten-off". I felt I was the "good son" -- but yet, never had my "Father given me a kid" that I might make merry with my friends.

This is a powerful story. Multiple dimensions of meaning can be drawn from it -- according to our testimony and our needs in life when we happen to read it.

There's a book I read a few months ago about this parable. In fact, you've given me the hankering (is that a word?) to read it again. Here's a link to it on amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Found-Reflectio...402&sr=1-16

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One way I see the parable is that the older son has done everything he was suppose to, the other did not, and yet the younger still gets an inheritance even though he wasted what he had, they both still come out equal. The son who did as he should gets understandably envious when his brother after playing around still receives the same reward.

IOW, it is a person who lived a righteous life and did as he should and ends up getting the same thing as one who did everything they should not and then repents. I think Christ was saying be happy that the sinner has come back, and besides, I am sharing all and bore the brunt of everything and you still get a share equal to mine. How fair is that?

I think it not unlike the parable where the laborers are all paid the same amount whether they worked 12 hours or one, it is Christ's to decide.

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I think the prodigal son is each of us.

Unfortunately I can't remember the reference, but years ago I read a scholarly commentary on the story that said the obedient son does not appear in some (allegedly very early) versions of the parable. The commentary didn't speculate as to the motive, but I'll do so: perhaps some well-meaning, probably Catholic scribe inserted the obedient son so that the story comes out clearly championing unswerving obedience over sin-and-repentance.

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