Summary: The self-righteous are quick to point out the sins and faults of others, but overlook their own.
THE COMPLAINING BROTHER
A. Luke 15:25-32 (READ)
1. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for the YOUNGER SON to come HOME!
Picture what that first FAMILY MEAL was like back home. The Father sits at the head of the TABLE and the brother sits across from the Prodigal. Some close FRIENDS are invited for dinner. The Father says to the Prodigal, Son, lead us in prayer. Don’t you know that first PRAYER of THANKS at the Father’s TABLE was a hard one to say! And don’t you know that it was difficult sitting there with all those STARING EYES and PUZZLING THOUGHTS.
The next day the Father would take his younger son down town to INTRODUCE him to one of his fine FRIENDS. Do you remember my son? The man SHEEPISHLY would stick out his hand for a HANDSHAKE. It would be difficult for the PRODIGAL to look the man in the eye, because he knew the man would be thinking, Yes, I remember your son, that worthless HOG SLOPPER!
And what if the PRODIGAL wanted to DATE? The Fathers would say, I’m not going to allow him to DATE one of my GIRLS. The mothers would DISCOURAGE their SONS from RUNNING around with him, too. After all, he’s been in the DISTANT COUNTRY, he’s EXPERIENCED, he’s an OLD PRO in SIN!
2. It’s difficult to live in the DISTANT COUNTRY, but it’s not easy to RETURN HOME either not because of what the FATHER might do but because of what BROTHERS and SISTERS do.
B. This morning we will focus on the OLDER BROTHER.
1. The two sons are REPRESENTATIVE of the only two ways of being LOST!
a. One sinned AWAY from home, the other sinned AT home.
b. One was lost in MILES, the other in COLDNESS.
c. One sinned against the FLESH, the other sinned against the SPIRIT.
2. Both were SINNERS. The problem is that one
RECOGNIZED it and the other didn’t!
It’s easier to find one’s self in the SON who left HOME. One can see the WASTE and WILD LIVING. One can see and smell the PIG PEN. One is THRILLED with his RETURN home. The people who left God and are WALLOWING in SIN, know they are LOST. Many of them will never RETURN, but they do not kid themselves into thinking that they are ALL RIGHT with God.
It’s much more difficult to find one¡¦s self in the OLDER BROTHER. Those of you who are hearing this lesson are not PRODIGALS, you are people at HOME. Our problem is not the DISTANT COUNTRY,but HOME! The LESSON we need to LEARN is that of the OLDER BROTHER, not that of the PRODIGAL.
I. THE GOOD IN THE OLDER BROTHER- v. 25
A. While the PRODIGAL was in the DISTANT COUNTRY squandering his inheritance with WILD LIVING, the OLDER BROTHER stayed at HOME.
1. He remained with his Father and is to be COMMENDED for his LOYALTY!
If anyone asked the TOWNSPEOPLE about the OLDER BROTHER they would say, He is the GOOD SON. Some would probably add, That wonderful Father has one REPROBATE son who BROKE his heart and an OLDER SON who is a fine, hard working, loyal, and respectable young man. It is to his CREDIT that we find him out in the FIELD working when the YOUNGER SON returns home.
2. As Christians, we need to EMULATE the OLDER BROTHER’S obedience, loyalty, and service.
B. But Jesus, in this parable, gives PRECEDENCE to a PRODIGAL who was "too BAD" over a BROTHER who was "too GOOD"!
1. Jesus not only EXPOSED those who had SINNED and been FOUND out, but He also EXPOSED those who had SINNED and not been found out.
That’s why the TAX COLLECTORS and PROSTITUTES received Jesus while the TEACHERS of the LAW and the PHARISEES turned upon Him in VENGEANCE. He EXPOSED them for what they really were.
The PRODIGAL’S sins were more EVIDENT! He REBELLIOUSLY left the Father for the DISTANT COUNTRY. If we were to CLASSIFY the SINS of the two BROTHERS, we would have to say that the PRODIGAL was the WORST SINNER! After all, the OLDER BROTHER remained LOYAL to his FATHER and stayed home.
The difference between the two is that the PRODIGAL realized his SINFUL CONDITION and REPENTED. The OLDER BROTHER didn’t even realize he had a SIN PROBLEM.
2. The OLDER SON remained FAITHFUL to his Father, but he allowed his FAITHFULNESS to produce an attitude of BITTERNESS against his BROTHER.
Never should we allow our FAITHFULNESS and OBEDIENCE to cause us to become COLD-HEARTED and SELF-RIGHTEOUS. God despises SIN and REBELLION, but He also hates SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS. The OLDER BROTHER may not have been REBELLIOUS, IMMORAL, or UNGODLY, but his SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS was a SIN just as GREAT.