Summary: The older brother displays some things which we need to face. Let’s learn from Him and not become like Him.
The Problems of the Prideful Son
* Have you ever watched a movie and wonder what happens next? If you have, then you are thrilled at this word, “SEQUEL”. It has become common for popular movies to have follow-up movies which are called sequels. Today’s message is a sequel to our message last Sunday evening.
* Turn to Luke 15. Last Sunday evening we began in verse 11 reading the familiar story that we all have come to know as the “Prodigal Son.” But we did not focus on the younger son who left town, we focused on the father who was patiently watching, completely forgiving, & totally accepting. But as our story ended last week, we could hear the music and see the dancing as the gang celebrated the return of the Lord Son. In movie terms, the credits were rolling, the colors were going dark, and ‘the end’ appears.
* HOWEVER, there is a final shot which shows the OLDER BROTHER coming toward home from a long day’s work, with expert cinematography we see him turn his head as he hears the music. The last scene shows a contorted face of scorn on this older brother. Ah – what a cliff-hanger. Let’s Read!!
* Luke 15 has long been known as the “LOST” chapter in the Bible. In verse 3 we read about the lost sheep, in verse 8 it is the lost coin, and then in verse 11 we read about the lost son. If is obvious that Jesus is attempting to teach us something very close to His heart. To fully grasp what He is saying requires us to read verses 1 & 2 of this chapter. (EXPLAIN verses 1 & 2) Suffice to say that Jesus’ desire was that those who needed the gospel be granted, given, and allowed to receive it PLUS, His teaching point us to going & looking for the lost! But the scribes & Pharisees wanted no part of reaching out to those on the other side of the tracks. (I.E. not our kind). As Jesus told each of these three stories, He message is clear, “Go out of your way to find, welcome, and receive those who are lost.”
* This thought that God would run down the road toward the lost sinner was unbelievable to the Pharisee. After telling the story of the son, Jesus knew He had the crowd’s attention and, being the master teacher that He was, He wanted to drive home a very personal truth for the Religious lost.
* This truth about the older, prideful son, was not required to shed light on reaching the lost, it was required so the religious can see that being critical and complaining is not the way of the master & has traumatic results. Let’s look and discover some truth about & about being an older brother.
1. Examine His Attributes – In any life there are some attributes which are desired and some which are not. Pride has a way of taking the good from our life and turning it bad, it takes the beautiful & turns it ugly, and it takes the right & makes it wrong. As we will survey this older brother, we will discover that good attributes can be misused and misunderstood. Check 3 of his quality, attribute, and/or traits.
a. He was Reliable – Verse 25 tells us he was out in the field. He was a hard worker, probably in the civic club, paid his bills, was honest, faithful, obedient, and quite likely very ethical. He was a good man. As was the case with families of his day, he left to go work the home place around daylight and return to the house around dusk. Unlike that younger son, who had run off and probably squandered all his assets, this boy had continued to serve his dad, his family, and their tradition by being the “good boy.”
b. He was Religious (probably) – Quite likely, he carried his family to worship week in and week out because this boy did things simply because they were right. Even if he didn’t attend weekly worship, he was religious about many things in his life. He religiously worked, served, and reported. He religiously watched after his dad & the home place. He was a good, good man. Quite likely, he was in one of the civic clubs, paid his bills on time, and was ethical to a tee. Yet, I suggest there was something different about him. I suggest;
c. He was Reactionary – What do you do when you hear music at home? Do you stop and ask one of your friends, children, or someone else what is going on? Or do you walk in to see why you are missing the party? I suggest that he had become so reliable and so religious in his work that he reacted about anything which he had no knowledge. While it’s just speculation, to see his reactions (I.E. he heard, he stopped, he called) would be just cause to examine a couple of other things;