The Parable Of The Prodigal Son - Part 2
Luke 15:11-32 “The Older Brother” Small Group Study Questions *Start your small group time off with prayer and then read the passage of Scripture in its entirety before getting into the questions. 1. If you were the older brother in this parable, how would you feel about your younger brother returning home? Can you resonate with how the older brother feels in this parable? 2. Read verses 28-30 again. The elder brother in the parable tells his father that he has worked very hard for him, never refusing to do what his father asked him to do, and then he accuses his father of not loving him- even implying that he loves his younger brother more than him. How does the elder brother understand the relationship he has with his father? 3. Tim Keller, in his book The Prodigal God writes this regarding the main message of the Parable of the Prodigal Son: “Neither son loved the father for himself. They both were using the father for their own self-centered ends rather than loving, enjoying, and serving him for his own sake. This means that you can rebel against God and be alienated from him either by breaking his rules or by keeping all of them diligently. It's a shocking message: Careful obedience to God's law may serve as a strategy for rebelling against God.” What do you think of Keller’s words here? Do you believe that someone can live a life that is by all appearances obedient to God, and yet not love God? How and why do you think that happens? 4. What do you think are the signs in one’s life if one is living like an elder brother? Are there ever times, in your thinking or your actions, that reveal an elder brother mentality in you? 5. Read the father’s response to his eldest son in verses 31-32. What is the father saying to his eldest son here? What truths is the father trying to communicate to his eldest son? 6. In the father taking back his younger son anything he gives to him would by default come out of his eldest son’s inheritance. This, by all appearances, seems unfair. In your opinion is the Gospel fair or unfair? Why? 7. The father in the parable wants his eldest son to rejoice in the return of his younger brother. What has to happen in the elder brother for him to do so? 8. In your opinion, what does the life of one who has experienced the grace of God look like? How does your life compare to that? Closing Prayer: Ask God to reveal to you any tendencies of an ‘older brother’ in you. Confess them and ask God to empower you by his Spirit to live a life of joy and thankfulness for the grace that God has shown you. Pray that your life would reflect well the grace of Jesus and the heart of the Gospel.