Luke 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
As we continue our study into the parable of the Prodigal son, let’s focus on the role of the elder son.
Most people overlook a very significant part of the parable, which is – the elder son received his inheritance as well! (Luke 15:12b) According to the custom of the times, the older son’s inheritance would have been twice that of the younger son. In that light, his response to his younger brother’s initiative, a response of silence…speaks volumes.
The elder son, as even in our own culture, normally would bear a greater responsibility for mending and healing any wounded relationships in the family. Yet this older son makes no apparent attempt to talk to his brother, to mediate or plead for his Dad, even though he was surely aware of the pain his brother’s request was causing his father. He does nothing! It seems the sibling rivalry had grown pretty serious, but even so, shouldn’t his love for his father have overwhelmed these feelings at such a critical moment? Worst of all, is he possibly entertaining the same attitude toward the inheritance as his brother, only secretly?
There’s a time to speak up, even when it goes against personal or selfish interests, or ruffles some feathers…whether it’s for the gospel, itself, or any other issue of righteousness, we ought not to remain silent, for God’s sake, for love’s sake. Let’s have the courage to do it.