That was a trick question. In the teaching of logic it’s called a false dilemma.

Because you really don’t have to be either one.

The prodigal son and the older brother are characters in a parable Jesus told in Luke 15. The prodigal son got his inheritance early, left home, spent it all in profligacy, and ended up in a pig sty. He came to his senses and made his way home into the arms of a loving father who welcomed him with a feast.

The older brother was the faithful one who stayed home and did all the things he was supposed to do. He became angry that he didn’t get a feast when he had been such a good rule-follower.

Of course it’s clear that these two brothers are both in their own way self-centered and missing relationship. (Except that the prodigal returns to relationship, and the older brother doesn’t.)  So, often when this parable is preached, the audience is challenged that each one of us is . . .

either the rebellious one, running away from the loving Father, who is waiting for us . . .

or . . .

the self-justified, self-righteous one who feels above sin and points the finger at others.








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