Older Brother vs Younger Brother

Scripture Reading
“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God”. -John 1:11-13

Read “The Parable of the Prodigal Son”

A Dad and His Sons
There is a parable in the Bible of a good man with two rotten sons! We can be sure that when he first heard his sweet bride was pregnant this is not what he thought being a dad would be like. He had hopes and dreams for his sons and these boys were nothing like what he had expected.    

Older Brother
He believed his oldest son to be a hard worker. A good man who did what was right. All while being loyal to the family and business. Much to the father’s disappointment and sadness, the older brother was just trying to get the life he wanted by pretending to believe and value what was important to his dad. He “played the part of a good son” but was actually working towards controlling the family fortune. His love for his dad or baby brother was not genuine. Sadly enough, the older brother ends up describing his relationship with his dad as “slaving for you”. What a sad description. I am sure it broke his dad's heart to hear.  

The older son, fueled by ambition, wants to be recognized for his accomplishments and place in society. Ultimately, he is driven by the desire to control his life, and make it what he desires. Striving to prove his worth and value through achievement.  

Younger Brother
Similarly, His younger son was also a disappointment. He just flat out decided he was going to do what he wanted, when he wanted, and how he wanted. He was more than willing to shame his dad by asking for his inheritance so he could go have “his best life”. The younger brother went off, with his entitlement, orchestrating the life he envisioned full of pleasure, fun, and ease. Afterward, he lost it all and ended up feeding and eating with pigs. So destitute that he was willing to crawl home; begging his dad to let him be “one of his slaves” so he could survive. Once again, His dad must have been heartbroken to see his son's condition upon returning.  

The younger son is driven by appetite and approval.  He wants an easy, comfortable, and fun life. He wants his pleasures fulfilled as easily as possible. Ultimately, control looks like “doing what I want”.

Two Sons; Same Outcome
One son rebels by staying, the other rebels by leaving. However, they are both lost and enslaved by their desire to control. And yet, neither finds what he is ultimately looking for. Nor are they open to receiving the invitation to just live as children of their good father. We  have all been these two sons at some point in our lives. Where do we go from here? Own it and repent, Just like the younger brother!

- Do you see yourself in either of these two boys?  Why or why not?
- What is driving you? Really… Why?
- Who has control of your life? Why?
- Ultimately, what do you want out of life? Does the way you live your life reflect what you want?
- Where do you feel you are living as a slave to something?