How to Study the Bible

How to Study the Bible

Nicole Unice

Stories Jesus Told: The Prodigal Son, Part 2 (Luke 15)

May 31, 2022   ●   20 min

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If you’ve been in the church or faith for a while, the temptation to believe “God, aren’t I good enough to get the best from you?” When we say that, we really mean what seems best to us. This is an easy but dangerous mindset for the “good person” to slip into.
In this last session in our Stories Jesus Told series, we are looking once again at the Prodigal of the Lost Son. But this week, we’ll be looking at the older son, the second half of this parable.


What a cliffhanger ending! A courageous conversation from the father, and we do not know if the older son accepts and receives this word from the father.

In the older brother’s heart is resentment and a refusal to go into the celebration. The younger son went far away in his heart and body. The older son went away in his heart and is now physically outside. The father goes to both, but the reactions of the sons are different.

The father’s posture toward both sons is continual generosity.


The older son always gets a double portion, which is not touched by the younger son. The anger, animosity and resentment are not because the younger brother swindled him.


It is by grace we are saved. For the younger brother, the sin is obvious and so are the consequences of that sin. What’s less obvious is how sin interrupts the older brother’s life, but the consequences are there, too.

Who’s outside the party now?

The older brother fails to realize that “anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him” (1 John 2:9-11).


In this story, the child closest to home is the one who has allowed sin to blind him from his own reality, from his own need for lavish grace.

How are you like the older brother, demanding the best from God (as defined by you)?

Are you willing to open your eyes to see the gift of right standing with God – or are you allowing comparison and resentment to keep you from the party?

Check out: Rembrandt’s ‘Return of the Prodigal Son’ -

Check out Nicole’s book on this topic: Help! My Bible Is Alive: 30 Days of Learning to Love and Understand God’s Word -


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