Summary: The prodigal son may have searched for his brother’s welcome. What did he find?
Sermon Study 226 – THE UNWELCOMED BROTHER
The Younger Son represents the lost soul
The Father represents God
Luke 15:11 Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. Luke 15:12 The younger one said to his father, ’Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. (Jewish Law – Older son received 2/3 & younger son received 1/3 of inheritance.) Luke 15:13 "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. Luke 15:14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. Luke 15:15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. Luke 15:16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. Luke 15:17 "When he came to his senses, he said, ’How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! Luke 15:18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. Luke 15:19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ Luke 15:20 So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:21 "The son said to him, ’Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ Luke 15:22 "But the father said to his servants, ’Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Luke 15:23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. Luke 15:24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
1. The Father sees you when you turn to Him, no matter how far you may be.
2. The Father is filled with compassion for you.
3. The Father runs to you.
4. The Father embraces you.
5. The Father kisses you.
1. Robe – Symbolizes the covering of sin.
2. Ring – Symbolizes authority.
3. Sandals – Symbolizes position – Slaves did not wear sandals.
4. Fattened Calf – Symbolizes abundance.
5. Celebration Feast – Symbolizes joy & public testimony.
The Older Son represents the Christian who does not welcome his lost brother.
Luke 15:25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. Luke 15:26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. Luke 15:27 ’Your brother has come,’ he replied, ’and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ Luke 15:28 "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. Luke 15:29 But he answered his father, ’Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. Luke 15:30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ Luke 15:31 "’My son,’ the father said, ’you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. Luke 15:32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’"
1. The older brother was busy in the field – why wasn’t he with the Father waiting for his brother to return or why didn’t he go out to get his lost brother?
2. The older brother refused to go welcome his “sinful” brother.
3. The older brother was prideful about his goodness.
4. The older brother was selfish – did not realize all he had.
5. The older brother was judgmental and accused his younger brother.
The older brother represents the Christian who is too busy in the “field” to recognize the lost sheep in their communities. The Father welcomes lost sheep and draws lost souls to His home BUT many Christians are just concerned about their own lives and too busy trying to build the church to notice the lost at their door. As the older brother who refused to partake of the celebration, these “Christians” also look down at those who are the hungry, homeless, poor, prostitutes… and won’t partake in welcoming them home. This pride is revealed in their unwillingness to reach out to their lost brother/sister. God is not at fault for your growing community of lost souls. The Father calls them, draws them, and they begin to recognize their need to return home. In their return home, they look to the older brother of the house “Christians” BUT if they find no love, no acceptance, no welcome… they will turn away. We must give up judgment, and reach out – run as the Father ran – find the lost, offer Jesus, restore their lives, giving unconditionally. Let’s welcome the lost home.