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Summary: Seven things that would have caused the older brother enter into the dance, if he had only known:

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Title of the message: “Dancing Lessons”

Introduction: What the eldest son did not know.

There are seven things that the eldest brother did not know. If he had known them, instead of being outside of the house criticizing, he would have been inside the house rejoicing and dancing.

1. The full extent of his brother’s sin.

While it was true that his brother had spend much of his money on harlots, it was also true that this was probably not the full extent of his brothers sin. His brother was certainly much more sinful than his older brother could ever have imagined him to be. And so are you!

Only God and you know the full extent of your own sinfulness. I am not trying to justify the prodigal son in this text, only Christ can do that. What I am trying to point out is the fact that we “all sinned and come short of the glory of God.” All.

Let me also take the time to make this statement. Harlots have names. We have a picture in the front entry way of our Church. It is a painting of the Jesus holding a rock while standing protectively in front of a harlot. Harlots have names too. Her name was Mary Magdalene!

2. That his brother had been sleeping with the pigs.

The older brother may have thought that his younger had been enjoying lustful interludes with harlots. The truth was that, as of late, every night his younger brother had been sleeping in the mud with pigs.

3. That his brother was on the verge of starvation.

Perhaps his older brother had thought that his younger brother had been feasting away in the banquet halls of expensive restaurants. Not so. Lately, he had been eating from the husk that the swine did eat.

The wages of sin is death. When a person goes in a wayward direction, they most often lose their jobs, their health, and their homes. Famine had come upon his younger brother. That famine brought the younger brother humbly home.

4. That his brother had come home with a repentant heart.

The younger brother did not come home to his Father with a haughty spirit. He did not ask his Father for more money so that he might take off again. Notice the brokenness in his prayer to his Father, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.”

5. That his younger brother would be the best friend that he would ever have. (You don’t know your own brother)

The person who is forgiven of much, will love much. (Luke 7:27) It is true that the older brother would get the family farm. But it is also true, that if the older brother would embrace his younger brother, he would be embracing the best friend that he would ever have.

6. That it took the same grace to save you as it did to save your fallen brother. (You don’t know your own self)

You can tell by the text that the older brother was full of himself. He was deceived. “Neither have I transgressed thy commandment at any time!”

My Bible tells me that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. The same blood of the cross, that it took to forgive the younger brother of his, would also be needed and applied to someday forgive the older brother of his sin.


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