Summary: In the story of the prodigal son, the older son completely missed seeing all of his own blessings because of his clouded vision towards his brother.
I'm guessing that you've probably heard this story that Jesus is telling to the Pharisees of the day.
We picked up at the very end of it, and only read that part because most of the time after hearing the whole story people start to nod off at this part and really miss the ending.
So let me go over with you real quick what has led up to this.
Here is a parable that Jesus tells.
He says that There are two sons in a family.
Now when the father dies, what he owns goes to them.
But the younger son decides that he doesn’t want to wait for his dad to croak to get what he has coming to him.
And instead he asks for the Dad to give him his part of the inheritance early.
That way he could go out and see the world while he was still young.
The Dad being a nice guy agrees, and gives the son his portion of the inheritance.
The youngest son then proceeds to go out, and “squander his wealth in wild living.”
I’ll let you come up with your own picture of what this wild living looked like.
For me it involves a couple of movies, a huge tub of popcorn with extra butter and shrimpfest at Red Lobster
Now there's some wild living.
Wild living…he wastes all of the money that his dad gave him, and now has to get a job.
So there is a big famine, and the only job that this son can get is feeding the pigs in the fields.
And the poor guy is so hungry that he even wants to eat the food that the pigs are eating.
So he thinks to himself, man the guys that work for my dad have more food then they can eat, and here I am wanting to eat the pig food.
I’ll go home to my dad and tell him that I don’t deserve to be called his son, and hope that he would hire me to work for him.
So he heads home, but while he is still far off his dad spots him…and he thinks “oh, here comes my loser of a son.”
No…the dad is so excited to see him that he runs out to him, and he gives him a huge hug…and throws a big party welcoming him back into the family.
And everything is great and this story shows us how God will love and forgive us no matter what.
And everybody in this story couldn’t be happier.
Hold on a second, it seems that not everybody was happy.
This is why we only read the last couple of verses of the story, because we always seem to forget this part.
When the party starts, the oldest son is nowhere to be found.
When he gets back from work he hears the music, and asks somebody what’s going on.
Well when he hears that his younger brother is back and that his dad is throwing a party for him, he gets ticked off and refuses to go in with everybody else.
So the dad being a good dad decides he’ll go out plead with him to celebrate with them.
And the oldest son start to yell at him…”I been slaving all of these years for you, and I never got a calf.”
“And he goes out and wastes his money and you welcome him home.”
And when you first read this story, you kind of agree with the older brother don't you.
Why should the youngest irresponsible brother get rewarded for being dumb?
The older brother stays at home, does his work, while his brother goes off and wastes all of his money.
And then when the immature brother gets back the dad throws a party for the deadbeat.
Yeah he had reason to complain…that’s not fair.
But hold on for a second.
Let’s think about what the oldest brother had.
He was the oldest brother, so back in this time the oldest was entitled to a 2/3 share of the inheritance.
So he was already guaranteed to get more than his younger brother.
Secondly the father tells him that since he is always there, “everything I have is yours.”
So the son already had access to basically anything he wanted since he was always there.
The son could have had a party with a goat anytime he wanted.
And by that I mean a party where the sacrifice a goat and eat it, although I guess if he wanted to have a party where he invited a goat to it he could have had that too.
So the son didn’t loose any inheritance, he already had everything he needed…yet he was ungrateful and angry about what his brother has.