Jesus’ Warnings in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, part 2

The father pleading with his elder son as described in the Parable of the Prodigal Son
The story of the Prodigal Son ends with the elder son stubbornly holding to his works-based righteousness. He refuses to recognize the validity of his father’s gracious forgiveness of his sinning brother. Despite his father’s pleading with him, he won’t enter his father’s house and eat the fattened calf to celebrate his brother’s return. Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

We saw in part 1 of “Jesus’ Warnings in the Parable of the Prodigal Son” that the Parable of the Prodigal Son is really the last story in a three-part parable that takes up most of Luke 15. And Luke 15 is set within the context of Jesus criticizing the self-righteous Jewish leaders who looked down upon the poor, uneducated people as sinners. This, in turn, contrasts with passages that reveal that Jesus considered the poor people of the multitude His friends. He even told them, “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” When the Pharisees and scribes murmured about Jesus’ welcoming and eating with these people whom they considered sinners, “He told them this parable.”