"Uniting Christian & Jewish Clergy from Around the World"
The Reciprocal Son--Luke 15:25-32
"The brother's story"
By; Rev. E.C.Williams 1.
Today I want to talk about the prodigal son's oldest brother. The reciprocal son. I guess the question that comes to one's mind is...What does reciprocal mean that we should label him such a thing? The word reciprocal means: 1.given or felt by each toward the other; mutual: reciprocal respect.2.given, performed, felt, etc., in return: reciprocal aid.3.corresponding; matching; complementary; equivalent: reciprocal privileges.4.expressing mutual relationship or action: “Each other” and “one another” are reciprocal pronouns.
So this man recieves this title because of his attitude toward the return of his brother...The famously known Prodigal son. So what is the difference between the two brothers and their respective titles. I guess the better question is...what does Prodigal mean? 1.wastefully or recklessly extravagant: prodigal expenditure.2.giving or yielding profusely; lavish (usually followed by of or with ): prodigal of smiles; prodigal with money.3.lavishly abundant; profuse:abundant on resources.4.a person who spends, or has spent, his or her money or substance with wasteful extravagance; spendthrift.
So here we see that one brother is a big spender and the other brother expresses entitlement. We call him the Reciprocal Son because this is what he should of been toward his returning brother but instead he was not. He was the opposite. He did not share the joy his Father felt when his brother returned! He did not feel like celebrating! He did'nt feel his brother deserved such a royal treatment. In his eyes his brother was rebellious, greedy and disrespectful. In his eyes his brother was wild and dark minded and a whoremonger for loose women! It was late in the evening and the reciprocal son was not aware that his prodical brother had returned home. The Hebrews were much given to the cultivation of music. Their whole history and literature afford abundant evidence of this. Banquets among the Hebrews, were not only a means of social enjoyment, but were a part of the observance of religious festivity. At the three solemn festivals the family also had its domestic feast. He heard music and dancing even as he was out in the field and approaching the house. The dance is spoken of in Holy Scripture universally as symbolical of some rejoicing, In the earlier period it is found combined with some song or refrain,more especially in those impulsive outbursts of popular feeling which cannot find sufficient vent in voice or in gesture singly. Dancing formed a part of the religious ceremonies of the Egyptians, and was also common in private entertainments. For the most part dancing was carried on by the women, the two sexes seldom and not customarily intermingling. The one who happened to be near of kin to the champion of the hour led the dance. Dancing also had its place among merely festive amusements, apart from any religious character. Luke chapter 15:verse 26 says," And he called to him one of the servants, and inquired what these things might be." What's going on? What's all the celebration about? And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. The Fatted Calf! the grade A prime Lamb fresh out of the slaughter house! The best meat from the field, Killed on the spot and flame broiled and fresher than anything burger king could produce! Luke chapter 15:verse 28 says," But he was angry, and would not go in: and his father came out, and entreated him." He refused to go in, refused to celebrate and refuse to show mutual joy for this situation. Anger had possessed him and binded his joy. After the Father realized that his son would not come in because he was busy throwing the tantrum of the entitled, his Father came out to him.And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid (a kid is a baby goat or sheep), that I might make merry with my friends. So here we see that his anger and grown into jealousy in that very short period of time. Darkness has the ability to produce a greater darkness as we continue to dwell in that state of being. In Luke chapter 15:verse 30 it says,"but when this thy son came...notice that he demonstrated no kinship to his brother. He spoke as if he disowned him and looked down on him when he said, 'but when this thy son came. So from anger he moved into jealousy and from jealousy he manifested isolation and from isolation he moved into accusatory judgement when he said of his brother to his Father, this thy son came, who hath devoured thy living with harlots! He disgraced the family name! He blew the family money and even disgraced himself and you, our Father, killed for him the fatted calf? And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. So he's telling him, You will inherit all that I have. I know that you have been obedient. I know that you have been here by my side. But I need you to be reciprocal of your brother as I am. He's still my son and your brother and he's been through a lot. He's been humbled by his foolish ways and now he understands what it means to be grateful for what he has been blessed with. So tonight is not about you. so we see in Luke 15:verse 32 his Father concluded in saying," But it was meet (the right thing to do) to make merry (throw a banquet and celebration) and be glad: for this thy brother (reminding him that this is still your brother),and he was dead (lost, hungry, confused,troubled and alone in a dangerous world that could have swallowed him up), and yet he has returned and is alive [again] ressurrected from the death of selfishness, foolishness and S.I.N. or self-inflicted-nonsense; and he [was] lost to the world, and is found. Saved by the grace of God. Tonight we celebrate a son rescued from the foolishness of himself. And tonight I want you to be apart of it so that we may also celebrate a forgiving brother who finally understands what it means to be THE RECIPROCAL SON! But you must also be willing to receive the lost and celebrate the found because tonight you have also found yourself!