Summary: So many believers fail to get ALL the teaching Jesus has to give us from this wonderful story of repentance, forgiveness and mercy.
Date Written: November 5, 2008
Date Preached: November 5, 2008
Where Preached: OPBC (Wed PM)
Sermon Series: A Study of the Parables
Sermon Title: The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Part 2) The other brother!
Sermon Text: Luke 15:25-32 (NKJV)
25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ 28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ 31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”
Now so far we have looked at this story from the traditional ‘wayward son comes home to unconditional love and forgiveness’ viewpoint! And this parable speaks to God’s unconditional love… God’s undeserved mercy and grace… this parable speaks volumes about the God we serve and who has provided this sort of love and forgiveness to us as sinners!
However this parable has a tag on the end… not really a tag, but so many people overlook these past few verses as a mere afterthought… or worse they simply ignore them! But Jesus used these words for good reason!
How many of us have been in the same situation as this older brother? You have been ‘faithful’ to someone or something and others have not…but then it seems as if you are being ignored or even worse slighted because of the attention that is being given to someone you deem as UNWORTHY of that attention!
Jealousy and disdain rise up in our hearts very easily and it is a poison that we cannot afford to have if we are going to serve God and be the witnesses for Him that He desires!
There is a parallel principle here that is also taught in the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard. We see the workers hired early in the day not happy with the Master because of how he treats those hired at the end of the day…
Now I understand that there are differences between the workers hired late in the day and the prodigal son… but the point here is the attitude of those who are seemingly doing the right thing… such as the son who did NOT demand his inheritance and go off to live a life of debauchery… such as the workers who showed up on time and worked a FULL day’s work!
It is their attitude toward those the Master or Father chooses to bless! Far too often as believers, we try to force OUR standard onto God instead of accepting God for who He is… and accepting His standard for our lives…even if we don’t fully understand it!
What we deem as good or right is not what is good or right… what God deems as good and right is JUST! He is God, He is the Creator, He knows all and is all… and knows what is best for us!
Here we find the older brother chastising the Father for several reasons: Let’s explore those reasons in as much detail as we can!
The Older Brother’s Outcry – Religion vs. Relationship (v.29-30)!
29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’
Here we see the older brother really giving it to the Father and he pummels his father with many reasons as to WHY his father’s actions are wrong!
First, the brother is upset because the focus is not on him. “Hey lookie here dad, I have been here all these years… I wasn’t the one who LEFT you and abandoned our family!”
Here the brother discounts the fact that his younger brother had repented and had come home and had been ‘redeemed’… He basically is telling his dad here that little brother didn’t deserve what he got and that he was upset because Dad did what he did… I never left and you give HIM the party!