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Lostand Found The Elder Brother Lk 15

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LOST & FOUND: THE ELDER BROTHER

LUKE 15:25-32

INTRODUCTION—THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF SINNERS: 1. THOSE WHO ARE DIRECT/UP-FRONT—THEY DON’T CARE WHO SEES WHAT THEY DO—USUALLY UNDISCIPLINED/CONCERNED FOR THEMSELVES  2. THOSE WHO ARE MORE SECRET—SIN WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING.  BUT THOSE WHO ARE MORE OPEN ABOUT THEIR SIN ARE MORE LIKELY TO ADMIT—REPENT—SEEK SALVATION.  THEY CANT DENY IT.  BUT THOSE MORE SECRETIVE TRY TO COVER—DENY WRONG—AFFIRM GOODNESS.  SO JESUS SAID “THOSE WHO ARE WELL DON’T NEED A DOCTOR” (MATT. 9:12)—THIS WAS AFTER JESUS ATE WITH MATT. & OTHER “SINNERS”

          THE YOUNG SON WAS  THE REBEL—RUN FROM GOD—NO RELATIONSHIP.  ROM. 1 SAYS GOD WILL LET PEOPLE FORSAKE HIM AND HE WILL ALLOW THEM TO PURSUE THEIR PASSIONS.

          THE ELDER BROTHER WAS OUTWARDLY MORAL/RELIGIOUS (LIKE SCRIBES & PHARISEES)—HIS REBELLION WAS ON INSIDE—WELL COVERED. AND HE (PHARISEES) IS OBJECT OF THE PARABLE

          REMEMBER JESUS TOLD 3 PARABLES BECAUSE SCRIBES & PHARISEES COMKPLAINED JESUS WELCOMED SINNERS & ATE WITH THEM (15:1,2)---EACH PARABLE PROGRESSES:  FROM 1 IN 100 (SHEEP) TO 1 IN 10 (COIN) AND TO 1 IN 2 WITH THE SONS

I.                  THE ELDER BROTHER’S SHOCKING DISCOVERY

THE ELDER BROTHER WAS OUT IN SOME REMOTE FIELD OVERSEEING SERVANTS (EVIDENCE OF LARGE ESTATE)—NEWS OF HIS BROTHER’S RETURN & THE PARTY HAVE NOT REACHED HIM—IT MAY HAVE BEEN AFTER DARK WHEN HE ARRIVED.  THE VILLAGE ALREADY GOT THE INVITATION & THE PARTY WOULD HAVE STARTED AROUND SUNDOWN & GOT LIVLIER AS THE EVENING WENT ON (MUSIC & DANCING)

HE CALLED A “SERVANT” (RSV & NIV)—REALLY IT WAS A “YOUNG BOY”—SERVANTS WERE BUSY WITH MEAL IN HOUSE. MANY YOUNG CHILDREN WOULD BE OUTSIDE PLAYING. THE BOY RELAYS INFO—“YOUR FATHER” (ANOTHER CLUE IT’S A BOY) HAS WELCOMED HOME YOUR BROTHER & HOSTING A BANQUET” (NOTE: THIS WAS PHARISEES COMPLAINT ABOUT JESUS!)—ALSO NOTE BOY DOESN’T SAY “YOUR BROTHER RETURNED”—TO USE “RETURN” AMONG JEWS WOULD BE LIKE SAYING HE REPENTED—RATHER HE HAS COME AND FATHER RECEIVED HIM “SAFE & SOUND” (RSV & NIV)—WE GET WORD “HYGEINE” FROM THIS GRK WORD BUT HEB. EQUIVALENT IS “SHALOM” (PEACE) WHICH INCLUDES GOOD HEALTH BUT ALSO RECONCILIATION---SO THE ELDER BROTHER LEARNED THAT HIS FATHER & BROTHER WERE RECONCILED (MADE PEACE)—IT ALSO MEANT THAT HE COULD DO NOTHING ABOUT IT AND THAT MADE HIM VERY ANGRY (V.28)—PLUS HIS FATHER WAS SPENDING PART OF HIS INHERITANCE THROWING THIS BANQUET—FOR THIS GOOD FOR NOTHING BROTHER!

NOTE: AT BANQUET LIKE THIS OLDER SON WOULD OFTEN SERVE MEAL AS HEAD WAITER WHICH WOULD COMMUNICATE TO THE GUESTS “YOU ARE SO HONORED OUR SON IS YOUR SERVANT”---THIS IS WHAT JESUS DOES FOR US!  SO THE OLDER SON (PHARISEES ARE STEAMING BY NOW) COULDN’T IMAGINE DOING THAT!  THIS WAYWARD SON SHOULD BE MADE TO PAY FOR WHAT HE DID—WASTED MUCH OF HIS FATHERS ESTATE AND HUMILIATED HIS FATHER’S NAME.

II.               THE ELDER BROTHER’S TRUE HEART IS REVEALED

NOW WE DISCOVER THE ELDER BROTHER NEVER REALLY DEVOTED TO HIS FATHER—NOT IN LOVING RELATIONSHIP—THOUGH TO VILLAGE HE APPEARED RESPECTFUL & FAITHFUL. BUT IN REALITY IT WAS JUST A MASTER/SERVANT RELATIONSHIP.  HE WAS A RELIGIOUS HYPOCRITE  (WHICH IS WHAT JESUS CALLED THE PHARISEES—HE WAS ANGRY AT THEIR PLAY ACTIING.  HE ALSO CALLED THEM “BURIAL VAULTS”—NICE ON OUTSIDE BUT DEATH/DECAY ON INSIDE—CONCERNED ONLY FOR IMAGE NOT HONORING GOD—THEY HAD NO INTEREST IN HEAVEN’S JOY.  SO THIS SON IS JUST AS LOST & JUST AS MUCH A SLAVE TO SIN AS YOUNGER BROTHER—BUT HE WOULD NEVER ADMIT IT!  UP TO NOW IN THE PARABLE PHARISEES WERE PASSING JUDGMENT ON YOUNG SON & FATHER—BUT NOW JESUS TURNED THE TABLES ON THEM—IF YOU WERE A PHARISEE THIS WOULD BE TOO MUCH TO TAKE.

THE OLDER BROTHER SHOULD BE RELIEVED HIS YOUNG BROTHER IS HOME & ANXIOUS TO SEE HOW HE HAS CHANGED. THIS SHOULD BE GOOD NEWS.  BUT HE WAS ANGRY AND WOULD NOT GO IN.  HIS REAL ANGER WAS AT HIS FATHER FOR EXTENDING GRACE/FORGIVENESS TO THIS SON WHO SHOULD PAY!  THE ELDER BROTHER WAS CONCERNED FOR HIS RIGHTS & HIS POSSESSIONS.  AND WHY SHOULDN’T HE BE ANGRY. HE STAYED HOME/WORKED FOR HIS FATHER’S APPROVAL & HAD RECEIVED NO HONORS FOR ALL THAT HARD WORK!

THE ELDER BROTHER’S RESPONSE IS CRUCIAL—AT BANQUET LIKE THIS MALE MEMBERS OF FAMILY MUST COME & SHAKE HANDS & WELCOME GUESTS—EVEN IF THEY DON’T STAY & VISIT—OTHERWISE IT IS CONSIDERED AN INSULT TO FATHER. SO WE SEE TRUE CHARACTER OF THIS SON.  THIS SON (AND THE PHARISEES) BELIEVED SINNERS DID NOT DESERVE GRACE! (EX: HIS REPSONSE IS SIMILAR TO QUEEN VASHTI’S RESPONSE TO KING AHASEURUS IN BOOK OF ESTHER—WHEN SHE WAS CALLED FOR SHE REFUSED AND KING WAS ENRAGED AND SHE WAS DEPOSED AS QUEEN)

III.           THE FATHER’S RESPONSE

A.   THE FATHER SHOULD PUNISH THE ELDER BROTHER: WHEN FATHER HEARD OF HIS SON’S ACTIONS (AND ALL THE GUESTS WOULD TOO!) HE HAD TO RESPOND—AND WE SEE THE RUPTURE THAT REALLY EXISTED BETWEEN THIS SON & HIS FATHER—THIS IS IN PUBLIC---MORE SERIOUS THAN WHAT THE YOUNGER SON DID.  AND THE OLDER SON WANTS PEOPLE TO HEAR WHAT HE HAS TO SAY—HE IS CONVINCED HE IS RIGHT & WANTS OTHERS TO DEFEND HIM.  BUT FOR THIS REFUSAL HE SHOULD BE PUNISHED.

B.   THE FATHER GAVE A “GENTLE APPEAL”:  AGAIN THE FATHER’S RESPONSE IS INCREDIBLE—HE WILL ENDURE SHAME & OFFER UNCONDITIONAL LOVE TO RECONCILE.  SO THE FATHER CAME OUT AND “APPEALED TO HIM”—THE GRK WORD (PARA-KALEO) “TO CALL BESIDE OR ALONGSIDE” CARRIES THE IDEA OF RECONCILATION—THE FATHER DID NOT GO OUT TO PUNISH OR CONDEMN (THOUGHT BY CULTURE STANDARDS HE COULD HAVE). HE WANTS THIS SON TO STAND ALONGSIDE HIM & SEE THINGS FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE  (2 COR. 5:20 “WE BESEECH (ENTREAT OR APPEAL) TO YOU –BE RECONCILED TO GOD”) THE FATHER WAS PAYING THE SAME PRICE TO WIN HIS OLDER SON—HE WANTED THIS SON TO JOIN THE CELEBRATION BUT HE DIDN’T ORDER HIM IN—IN THAT CULTURE FATHER’S DIDN’T PLEAD---BUT HE DID!

C.   THE FATHER’S WORDS WERE IGNORED—THIS SON WAS FULL OR RESENTMENT & ANGER & DIDN’T HEAR ANY OF THE FATHER’S KIND WORDS (V.29,30) ---HE SAID “LOOK” OR “LOOK YOU”—VERY DISRESPECTFUL—TRUE FEELINGS ARE COMING OUT.  WHAT HE HAD DONE FOR HIS FATHER  WAS UNDER COMPULSION (AS A SLAVE)—SO WHY DIDN’T HE LEAVE?  HE WOULD INHERIT A DOUBLE PORTION OF THE ESTATE SO IN A SENSE HE IS WISHING HIS FATHER DEAD SO HE CAN GET ON WITH HIS LIFE AND DO WHAT HE WANTS.  HE HAD AN INFLATED VIEW OF HIMSELF (PINTING TO ALL HE HAD DONE)—THIS IS LIKE RICH YOUNG RULER WHO SAID “I HAVE NEVER FAILED TO KEEP THE COMMANDS”—HE RESENTED HIS BROTHER GETTING A BANQUET (KILLED FATTED CALF) WHILE HE STAYED HOME (RELUCTANTLY) AND DIDN’T EVEN GET AS MUCH AS A “KID” OR GOAT—HE BELIEVES THIS WAS UNJUST & WAS DEMANDING HIS RIGHTS—HE WAS VICIOUS IN ATTACKING HIS BROTHER’S LIFESTYLE—THOUGH HE HAD NO IDEA WHAT HE HAD DONE.

D.   THE FATHER DEFENDED THE NEED FOR JOY—STILL THE FATHER IS MERCIFUL (YET AGAIN) (V.31,32)  THIS SON COULD HAVE A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS FATHER BUT HIS HEART WAS COLD (AS WERE THE HEARTS OF THE PHARISEES WHO REFUSED TO SEE THE KINGDOM & THE MESSIAH WHEN IT WAS RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM. BUT THE FATHER DID NOT JUDGE OR REJECT.  THERE IS A SPECIAL WORD FOR SON HERE (IT INDICATES “MY DEAR SON”) FILLED WITH LOVE & AFFECTION.  HE EXPLAINED TO HIS OLDER SON THERE WAS A NEED FOR THIS CELEBRATION—HE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO DO THAT!  YOUR BROTHER IS BACK FROM THE DEAD!”  WE MUST REJOICE! RECONCILIATION HAS COME!  AND THE PARABLE ENDS WITH NO RESOLUTION.  JESUS LEAVES THE ENDING UP TO PHARISEES & SCRIBES (15:1,2)  JESUS STANDS IN PLACE OF FATHER—WILL THEY REJECT HIS LOVE & INCREASE HIS SUFFERING?  WE KNOW THAT THEY DID.  WHAT WILL YOU DO?

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