What Happened to the Elder Brother?

By February 25, 2017 Q&A

Full Question

Did the prodigal son’s elder brother ever go into the feast?


Scripture does not say. If Jesus told the disciples the choice of the prodigal son’s elder brother, St. Luke chose not to pass on that detail in his Gospel. Perhaps St. Luke, or possibly Christ himself, chose not to reveal that detail so that those who hear the parable have to think about that very question. Does the elder brother honor his father’s wishes to celebrate his brother’s return or not? What would you do if the choice were yours? If that detail had been given, the possibilities for meditating upon the parable might have been diminished.

By Michelle Arnold

One Comment

  • Peter Aiello says:

    If the elder brother represents Israel at that time, he does not enter the feast because national Israel rejected Christ as its Messiah. The younger brother represents the publicans and sinners that entered the feast.

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