Article image

Der verlorene Sohn, by Max Slevogt

The prodigal's brother

When I preach on the parable of the prodigal son, I always get stuck on the elder brother. I wish there were a fifth gospel in the New Testament devoted to reaching out to that guy because he's everywhere in the congregation I serve, wearing many names and faces. Frankly, we depend on elder brothers to keep the place running. But I struggle to know how care for them.

I've tried giving elder brothers more stuff to do because they happily accept, and I've tried encouraging them to work to create a more just society because I know they think it's up to them to get things right. But both of these strategies miss the point of this parable—and the gospel of grace.


This article is available to subscribers only. Please subscribe for full access—subscriptions begin at $2.95. Already have an online account? Log in now. Already a print subscriber? Create an online account for no additional cost.

This article is available to subscribers only.

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.