Summary: A narrative exploration of the Prodigal Son and his brother, with different versions of what might have happened the next day. it explores how prodigals returned to fellowship in the ministry of Jesus and find hope for big brothers in Saul of Tarsus.
The Two sons: The sequel
Who watches the Oscars? Me neither but,
today I thought I would take some direction from Hollywood! Directors it seems love to produce a sequel. Sometimes it seems when new ideas are drying up they even resort to making prequels! Well you may be relieved to hear I’m not going to give you a prequel today. But I thought I might give you my sequel to a parable that you all know very well. The prodigal son! It’s a very familiar story told by our Lord
the master story-teller! But now for my sequel!
Jesus’ parable is called the two sons in this contemporary version. I’ll call mine The Two Sons: The Sequel.
Jesus’ original story ended with the father throwing an amazing party! The rebellious son has returned from wasting his inheritance on whores and wild living. Remember he ran out of funds, then there was a famine and he found himself living in a pig sty.
Worse still, he’ not only feeding the pigs but he’s reduced to wanting to eat pig food, slops and scraps.
Yuk! His story had been a terrible fall for the son of a wealthy farmer, but then he had come to his senses and gone home to offer himself as a hired hand to his dad. He knew he didn’t deserve any Father son relationship with his dad. After all he’s treated his father so badly even forced him to break up the farm.
He didn’t deserve anything at all. But perhaps his dad might let him work as a servant on the family farm.
Jesus’ story tells us of the amazing loving father who overturns all of the expectations of his son and of his culture. He runs to welcome back his long lost son.
He won’t hear of anything less than accepting him back as his full son. There is no way his boy is sleeping in the servants quarters! Not in his dad’s house. His dad is so excited to get him back he kills the prize calf! Gets his son all cleaned up with new robes and the family ring. And he throws a huge welcome home party!
Did you ever wonder what happened the next day?
Since we have a bit of a movie theme going on here with the sequel, I thought I would take a tip from another movie, “Sliding doors” and explore the idea of two possibilities, for the Prodigal Son’s future.
The son, how about we call him ‘Tom’.
Tom wakes up the day after the party, He is lying in his huge feather bed in his old bedroom. It is so warm and comfortable and the servants have just come in to put some wood on his fire and check that he is alright!
He gives himself a quick pinch, “Ouch that hurt! This is really happening!” He looks around again. It looks so much grander than he ever appreciated before.
Before……before what? Before that pig pen, that filthy straw bed.
“How can this be happening?” He pinches himself again. “Ouch! It’s not a dream. it”s really true! The party, the new robes! The ring,” He checks yes, he’s still wearing the family ring! His father ran to welcome him! He can hardly believe, even that happened. But it did!
Fathers in his culture just don’t run. So his father, would even risk disgrace for him. Fancy running like that to welcome back such a fallen disgraceful son!
But then there was that look he saw on his older brothers face! Tom had seen hatred before! His brother knew the truth about him, he hated, he despised him. With that stark realization, Tom takes a good look around. Drinks it all in, all that luxury that guys like him really didn’t deserve. Even hand knotted silk carpets! Sadly he feels so ashamed and guilty and he just keeps thinking about his brother.
There’s no noise now outside his room, the servants have gone back to prepare breakfast. Surprisingly after the excesses and feasting of last night, the idea of breakfast at his fathers home, really makes his mouth water.
But Tom’s mind is made up now. He knows what he must do! He’s got his pride back now. People might forget the excesses of one night, but he can’t allow his father to wear his disgrace! So Tom slips out of bed slowly, reluctantly takes off his fine robes,
He looks around but can’t find his old clothes. But of course, he remembers now, the servants burnt them
last night on the bonfire! He finds the plainest things
he can then quietly slips out the window and runs off
away from the family home and away from his gracious father. He’s not going to put up with his brother’s glares and resentment. He’s not gonna be the focus of scandal! He’s certainly not gonna take charity from anyone, not even his own father! He promises himself that he will come back one day but it will be when he has earned the right himself!