Summary: We hear about the prodigal son but what about his older brother. He is giving out a cry that is also coming from our communities. Be we can’t hear them inside our church walls.
What About Me?
You have always heard the story of the Prodigal Son and how he:
· Got tired of living at home
· Decided to take his inheritance and leave
· Spent all he had on loose living
· “Came to Himself” – realized what he did
· Went back home to a welcoming father
· A feast was thrown in his honor
At this point in the parable that Jesus is sharing, the scribes and Pharisees felt confident that they had escaped our Lord’s judgment, for He centered His attention on the publicans and sinners, pictured by they prodigal son.
But Christ continued with another story.
*Read Luke 15:25-32
We read of the:
- The Prodigal
- The Father
- The Employer
But what about, the Older Brother!
He was so consumed by his own life that he could care less that his brother came back home.
Let’s commend him:
· For his obedience
· For his hard work
· For not bringing a disgrace to his father
Compared to his younger brother – this guy is a saint!
· He didn’t just pick up and leave
· He didn’t waste his father’s money
· He didn’t bring shame to the family
· He didn’t embarrass his family with his actions
· He hasn’t done anything wrong…until now!
Sometimes we can get so worked up about ourselves that we might even gloat a little when someone close to us has fallen.
· Because they made a mistake – I look better!
· Because of their transgression – My failure doesn’t compare!
· Because of their “mess-ups” – I am now the good child. I am not as bad as they thought!
But during this time of self-promotion, the older brother falls into several traps that we find ourselves in today.
1. Self-Righteous – (verse 30)
He publicly announced the sin of his brother.
When we get in a tight and we are backed against the wall, how easy is it to start pointing out the failures of others?
· I know that I made a mistake but look at what he did?
· I know I mis-figured those numbers but she did it twice last week.
· I know I might have lied a bit about him but he is good for nothing.
If we are not careful, we will fall into sin while trying to put down our fellow brother who has fallen himself.
That’s why God’s word says in Galatians 6:1
“Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you be tempted.”
2. Pride – (verse 29)
Look at what I have done. This shows that he was more worried about himself than his own brother.
(Look at all the “I” in verse 29)
3. Unconcern – (verse 26)
He was told by one of the servants that his brother had come home.
4. Anger –
He was angry with both his father and his brother to the point that he would not go into the house to share in the joy of the homecoming.
He was upset with the father –
Because of the feast “I deserve the party”
He was upset with his brother –
For getting all the attention and getting the gifts
We can get the same way at times:
· God, he doesn’t deserve another chance
· God, why do you bless them – they are new in church
· God, why am I still struggling while you bless them with a better job or more things
I am the one that has been at every church service
I am the one that has always taught Sunday school
I am the one doing most of the work at church
IF anyone deserves a feast, it should be me.
While I could preach on the sins of the older brother, that is not the message today.
I want to take a negative and hopefully get something positive out of it.
- Say what you want about the older brother.
- Talk about his sins that we have discussed
- Talk about his sour attitude
- Talk about his lack of concern for his brother…
And all of this is true!
We have all been the Prodigal son before but we have also played the role of the older brother.
Another message for another time!
But I want to focus on the cry of the older brother.
The cry of older brother is the same cry and that we have in our communities today.
The cry: “What about me?”
And while this cry is being shouted out to us, we can’t hear it because of the hindrances we have put in their way.