Luke 15: 11-32 This parable of Jesus confronts us all with moments when we are not as charitable towards others who are working through issues. We may feel the tendency to judge or be critical. Today we look at the attitude and difficulty of the older brother.
The critical older brother - vrs 25-32
The older brother questions the generosity of the father
He returns and hears a celebration in process
He finds out it is for his brother who has returned
He becomes angry and refuses to participate
His father comes to him and explains his actions
He argues on the basis of his duty/faithfulness
He observes/complains he has never had a party
He doesn't understand the grace and love of the father
He feels justified in his hard line/point of view
The older brother remains distant from the celebration
He remains outside in cold comfort
He is not willing to forgive his younger brother who he views as a sinner
He views his father as a boss or master - not father in these moments
He remains rigid and refuses to budge
He feels he is right and everyone else is wrong
He wrestles with the invitation to change his mind and participate
He has to deal with the fact he is the only one not celebrating kingdom joy
The older brother must decide what to do
The father has taken the initiative to come to him and invite him to enter in
He must decide if he is willing to give up his hard heart and attitude and enter in
If the father forgives who are we to stand in judgment, argue or refuse to accept?
It is as difficult a journey from the yard to the house as it is from a far country
To be on the outside is a lonely place
What do you think the older brother did?
What would you do?
Who are you in this story that Jesus told?
Application - What ending would you give to this story?
We can be near Jesus but not be part of the celebration
We need to examine our hearts if we refuse to celebrate what Jesus forgives
What do we need to let go of in order to 'come home'