The Two Sons

I was reading another blog after I got here to the new hotel and it triggered something that is a good follow on to last night’s post on Grace and Mercy. Most people, even nonreligious people, have heard the story of the prodigal son found in Luke 15:11-32. In case you haven’t, I’ll sum it up.

There once was a very rich man with two sons. The younger son decided he was tired of waiting for dear old dad to kick off, so he straight up asks for his half of the inheritance now so he can go enjoy it while he’s still young. The dad agrees to the unreasonable request for some reason and the son goes off.

It goes about as well as you might expect from a young man who was impatient for his father to pass away. He blows his money on women, wine, and fast living. He ends up so poor, he is homeless and in danger of starving to death. At this point he thinks to himself “better to be the lowest servant in my father’s house than die out here in a foreign land.”

He realizes how stupid and hurtful he’s been and knows he doesn’t deserve anything, but plans to beg for any job on the estate so he won’t die. So he returns to his father’s house, but before he can even beg for forgiveness, his father rushes out to meet him. He’s so glad his son has returned, that he throws a feast for him and restores him to his comfortable position in the family.

It’s a great story about the forgiveness, mercy, and grace of God towards sinners. The father should have said, “Piss off! I don’t love you anymore and I don’t want anything to do with you after the way you acted.” But instead he welcomes him back into the family and throws a big party. I don’t know about you, but I’d like to be loved like that when I screw up.

But the parable doesn’t actually end there. In fact, that’s actually just the setup. You see, Jesus was telling the story to the Pharisees who were complaining that he wasn’t being sufficiently hard on the prostitutes and tax collectors he was hanging out with. You know, the people who were acting like the younger brother.

The rest of the parable is that the prodigal son’s older brother – the “good one” refused to go to the party. This was a major faux pas since he was causing his father to lose face. When the father and older son talked, his son angrily said (paraphrasing) “I’ve been the good one all this time, earning my inheritance. I stood by you when my brother acted shamefully and now you’re rewarding him with my part of my inheritance by having a big party for him.” The father replies that it is proper to rejoice when his son who was dead to him has returned to life.

And that’s where the parable ends. I leave it to the reader, just as Jesus did, to figure out what the application is for repentant cheaters, loyal spouses, and bystanders who want to offer advice to the recovering couple. Just a hint, don’t be like the Pharisees/Older brother.

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About Anonyman

Recovering adulterer and husband of an awesome wife who has given me a second chance. Sinner and Christian, saved by grace alone. I cuss a lot
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21 Responses to The Two Sons

  1. I’ve come to that conclusion that I am the prodigal son’s brother, I identify with Job questioning God, I am Jonah saying No.. No.. not M..

    So I completely love and make a frowny face in regards to me for this post 🙂 Thanks for it

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anonyman says:

      In case you’re wondering, yours wasn’t the blog I was reading. I’m glad you liked it nonetheless. As a former “older brother” myself, I can easily identify with both characters. There’s a book called Prodigal God that deals extensively with all the nuances of the story and how it relates to our relationship with God. The central point of the book is that both brothers needed to repent and that God graciously loves both. Good stuff and it’s a fairly quick read if you’re interested.

      By the way, how is M?

      Like

    • NH you made me laugh. Isle often gives me frowny faces. And I sigh and cuss because I know he is right.
      Thank you Isle & your wife. God is and will continue to use what was meant for evil for His good.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Anonyman says:

        I hope it comes through that what I say, even when it hurts, is said in love for my brothers and sisters who are walking this same lonely road. I hope it comes through that when I make a judgement, it is not a condemnation. I hope I come off as a humble, repentant sinner who speaks the truth as I see it in love. That’s who I want to be and that’s who I trust God is making me.

        Liked by 2 people

        • All of the above. It is who you are. At least from my perception.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Isle – have you ever read The Prodigal God? I actually heard Tim Keller preach on it in Chicago a few years back. He talks about the two sons as you have depicted above.

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          • Anonyman says:

            Yes, I read it right before the affair. Oh the irony

            Liked by 1 person

          • Nephila says:

            Interesting take on that one:

            http://apprising.org/2012/05/21/dr-gary-gilley-reviews-tim-kellers-book-the-prodigal-god-recovering-the-heart-of-the-christian-faith/

            Though honestly it is pretty funny. There’s few things more arrogant than identifying yourself with who you perceive to be “the good guy” or the “the winner” in some biblical story.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Anonyman says:

              I’ll have to read that later. I don’t think it is arrogant at all to identify with someone who has screwed up that badly and been accepted back, not because of how good he was, but because of how great the Father is. The point of the story isn’t that either son was good or bad, but that the Father was good.

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            • Nephila says:

              Of course you don’t. And of course you *say* the sons aren’t good or bad, but the treatment and punishment/reward says otherwise. But the story didn’t finish did it? When the father did die, the good son is going to get the inheritance he didn’t blow. And the one who cheated (because let’s face it that’s the parallel with you) will still have blown it.

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            • Anonyman says:

              So you do support my supposition that I’m the wayward son, but now you say he has forever blown it? Your interpretation is not supported by the passage or by any commentary I’ve ever heard or read. Have you really just taken the plain meaning of the Scriptures and turned them on their head just so you can put me down?

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            • Nephila says:

              He spent the money. It’s not coming back. When the father dies he’s already blown the money, right?

              As for cheaters. You can’t turn back time and not have done what you did can you? Spent your integrity capital.

              Like

            • Anonyman says:

              If it was about the money which was lost, wouldn’t it have been mentioned? If the father is God, as everyone agrees, then do you think we his wayward children can spend half of infinity? I’m sorry, but you’re stretching to make it say something it doesn’t.

              You’re right, though, I can’t turn back time. However, God is a God of second and third and fourth chances. His mercies are new every day.

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            • Nephila says:

              It’s pretty arrogant to count on being restored. Of course it’s an attractive assumption because you don’t have to work for it. I take an entirely different view both morally and religiously. Your faith that you will get a free pass is touching though.

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            • Anonyman says:

              It’s only arrogant if you assume that sinners have to earn forgiveness from God. That is not in any way supported by this passage or any other. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness” – 1 John 1:9

              You are of course free to take whatever views you like. However, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that forgiveness is not earned, nor are we saved by anything but grace through faith. You find that touching, as you insincerely and condescendingly put it. I find it scandalous that the perfect creator of the universe loves me so much that He sent his Son to die for me to pay a debt that neither I nor anyone else could repay. And yet that’s what He did. That is the good news of the Gospel and it is for all who recognize their need for salvation and place their trust in Jesus.

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  2. I had an affair says:

    Isle…it is you blog, obviously, but are you no longer blocking Nephi the cow to whom you dedicated a whole blog to awhile back? Sorry, it just annoys me when she hijacked someone blog or comments, as she did here with Cl. That is a good story though, to which I can relate in real life to exactly as it is written.

    Like

    • Anonyman says:

      It annoys me, too. As I was flying home on Saturday, I was praying for a lot of my commenters and I felt convicted that I need to give her another chance. I write about grace a lot and I felt like I wasn’t living it by the way I treated her. My opinion of her hasn’t changed, but for the time being I am engaging her because that’s what I feel God wants me to do. I will continue to seek his will in this and leave it in his hands. I won’t let her highjack the blog, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this post. I was never religious before this all happened. I was the arrogant son. I like how Anon has applied this passage to the situation and he is right with respect to the lesson here in many ways.

    Neph….I know you are hurting. I know you are mad and in pain. I feel bad that I am in the group of people who has done things to the innocent such as yourselves. Please see the lesson in this passage and understand how it can apply to you as well. We all sin, some worse than others, as we all seek forgiveness in our own way. Sometimes we simply seek forgiveness from ourselves. My wife may never forgive me but that doesn’t change the fact that i am taking this opportunity to learn from this and grow as a person to better give back to this world. At the end of the day, the world is richer for what I now give to it than what I gave it before. The lesson is not about the money or its’ waste. It is about the understanding this lesson can give to future generations. It is about understanding that people can make mistakes, incredible mistakes and if they truly learn and change they can benefit the world from that. In this story, the father, who I assume always wished his son would learn that money never bought happiness did learn that. The father could care less what monetary value that cost if his son truly grew as a person. He was alternately saddened that his older son, regardless of his actions had not gained that knowledge and if therefore poorer for it even if he may be rich in his future inheritance.

    We may never be forgiven by those we have wronged but if we are truly repentant than we will have earned our forgiveness from god and perhaps one day ourselves. If you truly want to heal, seeing this lesson for what it can be may one day help you. I wish you both well. (Just my two cents)

    Liked by 2 people

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