Anchor Lady: Viewers, thanks for joining us for another episode of Exposé and with me today is Peter. Will you like to say a very big welcome to everyone joining us from all over the world?
Peter: Hi viewers. For those of you who are just joining us today for the very first time or those of you who have been joining us for the past few weeks, I want to say welcome to you all.
Anchor Lady: I was expecting you to say it in French or Arabic or anything like that
Peter: [laughs] Well, hopefully we’ll learn that as we go on…
Anchor Lady: Yes. If you have not been following us, we’ve been looking at Luke 15, looking at the Parable of the Prodigal Father and if you have not been following us, I need to break it to you: you’ve missed a lot! But the good news is we have it all recorded so you can sit back and look at all the previous episodes. Last week, we got to the climax for the younger son when we learnt that he went out from the house and was in want. From my own personal reflection and experience, I was just fine with that because it sits with me that for every action there should be consequences; there’s fairness—he left the house, he left the stability of the father, he left the comfort, he left the elder brother with the father and yet, so he faced…and he got what he bargained for, sort of, like that. So for me—and I’m sure there are some other people like me that agree with me that there should be fairness; for every action there should be consequence, there should be responsibility—so Peter, what do you think about this younger brother?
Peter: Yeah, I mean…yeah you’re right. The younger brother was just—as we’ve been saying for the past few weeks—is a reflection of the current state of humanity where people decide they know what’s best for them. They know how their lives should go and they think they can express their lives to the fullest and they don’t really need God, the Father—that’s why, if you noticed, we did talk about the fact that, because he wanted his inheritance when his father was still alive, that should be something he should be asking for after the Father had died but not in his father’s being alive. It means he wished the father doesn’t exist! So this reflects humanity that actually hopes there’s no God and they think the God-factor is a means of restriction. But like the story says, whatever we think is the best of choice to replace God and we pursue that very thing, it’s a matter of time, we’ll start to be in want!
Anchor Lady: Are you saying you share my reflection that it serves the younger brother right?
Peter: Well, I wouldn’t say… yeah, one could say it serves him right but it’s just the natural way life goes. Nothing satisfies; there’s a void in every humanity. There’s something in us that it doesn’t matter what we chase after—if we chase after money, it doesn’t matter if we chase after relationships, trying to use your salary as a means of satisfaction, some people chase qualifications, they chase degrees and whatever—it’s a matter of time! The bible said “he began to be in want…” It means he didn’t just be in want straightaway; he began! So for everyone, for anyone who takes this journey of self-expression, it’s a matter of time; they would begin to be in want. So it’s just a natural consequence, nothing satisfies. There’s a void in us that we think Oh, if I get this or if I get that, then I will be happy and contented with destiny—it’s a matter of time; we would begin to be in want. So the younger brother’s story is telling humanity that no matter how long we try to use anything as a means of self-satisfaction, it’s a matter of time; you’d begin to be in want. It’s just a natural consequence. It doesn’t mean that the Father was punishing him… as you could notice, the father wasn’t even there when he began to be in want. The father gave him what he wanted but yet, he began to be in want. So that’s it; that’s what that younger brother’s story actually shows!
Anchor Lady: So we can classify all you said…the paths of humanity…everybody can be classified as you said as the younger brother or the elder brother. So, what are the classes of the people that are fully identified in the younger brother?
Peter: Yeah, that’s right. Like we did say, the fact remains that Jesus’ story wasn’t to just one particular group; Jesus’ story—this parable—is an expression of the state of humanity in general and if you’re thinking ‘this is not…’ I mean, you’re thinking, in your life, you are not the kind of person that will go all out and try and experiment every bad thing so that you can be satisfied… If you think you are not that kind of person and you think, your kind of lifestyle is different, well, you will need to wait for the next few weeks as we begin to unfold the other brother but the fact remains that this parable speaks to everyone, really; everyone can find themselves in this parable.
Anchor Lady: yeah, I will like to ask, is that the end destination for everyone—
Peter: Yes, if you were with us last episode, we actually did stop on verse 15
Anchor Lady: okay
Peter: We’re going to carry on from verse 16 today. Now, I’ll read verse 16. In verse 16, it says “…and he would fill his belly with the husk that the swine eat and no man gave unto him…” Now, it means…
Anchor Lady: so it actually went worse
Peter: Yeah, it actually went bad for him, which means he went beyond the point of thinking, Well, I think if I go all out and I get all the resources, I will be contented with life. I don’t need a father; the father is a limitation; the father is a restriction; the father is a joy killer; the father kills satisfaction and… Today, if you talk to people about god, about faith in God, about worshipping God, the kind of picture that comes into people’s mind is a joy killer—someone who, if you follow God, He wouldn’t give you enough room to express yourself for what you really want. That’s the kind of picture that people have and somehow, people think, well, if we can take God out of the equation, or we take God out of the society or we take God out of the system—like the younger brother wanted the father dead… So society thinks if we can get God out of the system, maybe humanity may have enough room to express themselves for who they really are!—and this is… it’s something in the system but this younger brother’s story tells us that anytime we take the father out of the system, anything we pursue in replacement for the father, it’s a matter of time, humanity will start to be in want. I’ll give you an example. There used to be this lady her name is Cynthia Aimosh. She used to right for the village boys in New York and she did say something that she was privileged to meet quite a number of the people you’d call the present-day Hollywood celebrities when they were still low class people… you know, they were working in low-paying jobs in the restaurants, in the streets of New York and all that before they actually hit it big. She said she knew some of them and then after some years wen they became big names in Hollywood, she interviewed some of them and some of them said they thought at the time when they were down there doing low… I mean right there at the lower level, at the—
Anchor Lady: lower rung of the society
Peter: …of the society, they thought, Well, if only I can become a big name in Hollywood, then, life will be worth living, then life will become significant, then life will become valuable—that’s what they thought. And she said some of them said the very day they actually got to that stage they were hoping for—the peak—they found out they were still the same person they were. Nothing has changed! They said they thought something was going to change, they thought life was going to be really worth living, it was a matter of time. So that’s one thing about this story of the younger brother. What Jesus is telling humanity is that there is a void in the lives of people that nothing else—nothing else—that can satisfy. But if you think you can satisfy it, it’s a matter of time—just wait, it’s a matter of time. Bible said “the younger brother began to be in want…” It’s a matter of time. For some people it can take them one day to begin to be in want, for some it can take them three weeks, for some, it can take them a year, or a decade… everyone will be in want—it doesn’t matter what pursuits they are on, it’s a matter of time… and that’s what the story tells us.
Anchor Lady: That was very very—
Peter: —and there’s something that comes to my mind which I think our viewers should listen to. You see, in Physics—in science, in Physics—there’s something they call mirage. It means, if you’re driving on a sunny day, if you look forward—
Anchor Lady: far ahead
Peter: yeah, far ahead, you will think you’ve got something like a river or something. You will see the stuff like a river on a very hot sunny day. But when you get closer to this ‘river’, you think it’s a river, but the closer you get to it, it just disappears! That is how it looks like. The younger brother thinks You know what? If I get out of the house…if I leave the home and I just have all the resources, yes! That’s it! That’s all I need for life! And when he got there, the father gave him all he needed—all that he wanted—and when he got to that stage, he began to be in want.
Anchor Lady: what he started with—so many resources—yet…
Peter: and yet, he began to be in want.
Anchor Lady: And I actually thought that was the worst thing that could ever happen to him…
Peter: And I see that when you start to be in want, the next thing that happens is that you start to take junks. You fall for anything. That’s why the Bible says at some point in time (in verse 16) he began to eat the food that was meant for swines.
Anchor Lady: junk food
Peter: Because once you get to the point when you start to be in want, you get so desperate (that) you start to fall for anything… you start to take anything—anything goes—you start to take anything that comes. And that’s what this story tells us—nothing satisfies; it doesn’t matter what we pursue, it doesn’t satisfy.
Anchor Lady: Reiterating your point, like the way… that verse 16 was saying “he begin to fill himself” means there’s a gaping hole, a void, and just anything that could fill him up and unfortunately, he couldn’t find anything substantial, it has to be junk.
Peter: yes, there’s a hole… that’s it. You see, you’re right. “He began to fill himself”—
Anchor Lady: I think the word is symbolic. “He begin to fill himself…” Meaning that there is a hole, there is a gaping of—
Peter: Exactly. I mean, it’s just like people who are addicted. An addiction…People that get addicted, it’s a kind of deceit, because once they start to engage with whatever thing they are taking in, what happens is, they believe that’s it! If I have just one more shot, I’ll be fine. Just one more shot, I’ll be fine. And they take one more shot and what happens? They figure out that there was a deceit and needed more—and then they become desperate, and wen they’ve become desperate, then they can just take anything… They can even take junks… they can even take anything that comes… And that’s how it works with humanity. For people who have decided to go on the path of the younger brother, Jesus is saying in this parable that whatever you are pursuing will end up not satisfying. And not just that alone, it’s a matter of time, you’ll start to take junks—pollution—you’ll take anything. And you bring yourself down—you devalue yourself and you come to the levels of swines—pigs.
Anchor Lady: Unfortunately for him, he could not even get that opportunity to stay at the level of swines, so he was beneath the swines
Peter: Have you noticed one thing about the society in the twenty first century? If you notice, you know, the Bible says in Romans chapter 1 that “because they refuse to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do things that are not convenient.” If you notice… because humanity—and largely—they’ve gone after the younger brother’s kind of life style, you see humanity in the society now, we begin to do things, say things and express life, at times, even below the level of animals—below beasts—devaluing ourselves! In fact, there is this place in the book of Romans chapter 1 that says “Men dishonour their own bodies”—they devalue themselves. That’s what ends up happening… it’s a journey, so every journey into younger brother’s kind of expression, it’s only a matter of time, you will start with a self-devaluation; it’s a matter of time!
Anchor Lady: So you—
Peter: Self-devaluation—you bring yourself down and you start living with swines
Anchor Lady: You would have loved to be placed at the same level of the swines but it’s beneath…
Peter: That’s it! That’s it! And that’s what happens when people wish there was no God in the system…where they think there’s no need for a father and the father was there as a means of limitation. That’s how the younger brother saw. So if I ask you a question, Who are the younger brothers? The younger brothers are people who wish or hope that there’s no God in the system…who sees the father as a limitation to self-expression…who sees the father as a restriction…who sees the father as someone who doesn’t allow them to become what they actually want to be and those are the younger brothers.
Anchor Lady: We can conclusively advise anybody that there’s no point reinventing the way. There’s no point taking the singular journey like the younger brother because we know it’s going to end up…definitely end up in want. It doesn’t matter the years, the time; it will end up in want and even beyond want!
Anchor Lady: …filling yourself with junks.
Peter: Yeah, that’s it. So, you see, this story speaks to the heart of our society and if you are listening to us and if there’s anyone out there, one thing you need to know is, Jesus has said it, you don’t want to do experiment with your life; you don’t want to carry out a research upon your own very live… And Jesus did say if you go on this pathway—or if anyone goes on this pathway, they will start to be in want; they will start to be in need. So that’s what this younger brother’s story tells all of humanity…and that’s it.
Anchor Lady: I’m sure, some of our audience would have found ourselves in one of these two classes, so since we are dealing with the younger brother, people can look and have a reflection indeed—do they have any trait of the younger brother in them? And I hope they will be rightly advised to know that there’s no point moving away from the security, from the comfort of the father, from the control of the father because you will join—he actually wanted to be self-independent but he went to join—so there’s no…it’s an illusion of self-independence.
Peter: That’s it. You made a very good point and I think we actually need to talk a bit about that. I think we made a reference to that in our previous episode where we said there’s no such thing as absolute freedom—it’s a deceit from the devil—there’s nothing like absolute freedom when people say Well, you know what? I want to find what is good for me. I want to find my own way…I want to be free! We did say one thing that even the bible says if you are free from righteousness, you’ll be a slave to sin, or if you’re free from sin, you’ll be a slave to righteousness; you cannot be free from both and you cannot be a slave to both…So if you are free from one, you are bound to the other. So when people talk about what the younger brother was talking about where else, he said he wanted to be free to become who he wanted to become, what happened? He ended up joining himself to a citizen of that country—
Anchor Lady: oh, and he even went further to the swine now, beyond the citizen
Peter: —to the swine—coming down to the level of the beast. So, really, where’s the freedom? There’s no such thing as absolute freedom. And you don’t need to look too far to see what I’m talking about. You see so many people say I just want to be myself, I just want to express myself, I don’t want to be bound to anyone—see what happens to people? It’s a matter of time; they get bound—
Anchor Lady: even to something beneath
Peter: to something below human standard
Anchor Lady: I can assure you that there’s more to this story so I do hope that you will join us in our next episode next week as we explore further the story of the Prodigal Father so we will like to welcome your comments on what you think…and if you identify some traits of this younger brother in the conversation on the page—on the Exposé page. So till we see you next week, I just pray that you will have the wisdom not to walk away and take a similar journey like the younger son. (Peter), what will you like to say?
Peter: Well, I will just like to say this very significant point that viewers, you need to know that Jesus’ parables like we said few weeks ago, that Jesus’ parable classified all of humanity into two. There were two sons. Everyone, I mean, and these two sons are not just sons, I want to submit to you, it shows two ways that you can live your life—two different ways in which people try to define themselves—two different ways in which people try to make a sense of life. That’s why this parable is very significant so I would really encourage you to just go on this journey with us as we begin to unfold the significance of this parable of these two sons.
Anchor Lady: Okay, so finally we would say thank you for joining us till we see next week
Peter: Yeah, we’ll see you next week. God bless you. Bye.