Presentation on theme: "Angry at God’s Grace: The Prodigal Son’s Brother Luke 15:11-32 The Prodigal Son is a story that religious and non-religious people know. A son forsakes."— Presentation transcript:
Angry at God’s Grace: The Prodigal Son’s Brother Luke 15:11-32 The Prodigal Son is a story that religious and non-religious people know. A son forsakes his father, demands his birthright and abandons his family. Jesus taught this parable for numerous reasons – to denounce greed and avarice, to remind us all to honor father and mother, and countless other reasons. Yet, oftentimes, people forget the latter half of the story. Of course we all know that the prodigal returns and everything is resolved. However, we often forget the application of what happens last – an integral part of the story is found in the attitude of the prodigal’s brother. There are three attitudes the brother exhibited: Anger, Apathy (or lack of compassion), and Envy. Since we are called to have an attitude that reflects Christ’s, an attitude that is merciful and celebrates the grace of God on sinful man, it is important for us to know how to avoid these three attitudes shown by this man.
Angry at God’s Grace: The Prodigal Son’s Brother Luke 15:11-32 Anger A trait discussed throughout the Bible; typically, in a negative light. Cain was angry and lost control. Killed his brother Abel (Gen 4) Esau was angry at Jacob for stealing his birthright (Gen 27); Esau wanted to kill Jacob. Saul’s anger that eventually results in the destruction of his family (1Sam 20) Jesus’ teachings on anger (Mt 5:21-24) Not always bad though… The specific phrase “Anger of the Lord” is used 35x in the OT Righteous indignation came upon the Judges of OT (Jdg. 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 14-6) Jesus expressed anger in cleansing the Temple (John 2) In this case, it is bad. The brother is angry for all the wrong reasons. Because the Father shows the prodigal compassion Because the prodigal is welcomed home by his father Because he feels that he has been loyal and deserves the father’s blessings. Definitely not righteous indignation as seen in Eph 4:26-32; more like jealousy
Angry at God’s Grace: The Prodigal Son’s Brother Luke 15:11-32 Lack of Compassion “He left you! He left us! You have a son who has never left you! He lacks compassion for his own brother because of his selfishness/lack of mercy Possibly an overzealous reference to the duty of the parents/townsmen in Deut 21:18-21. Fathers are commanded to take care of their child’s needs (Mt 7:9-10; Eph 6) Isn’t the brother exhibiting the same attitudes that he is speaking against? Isn’t the prodigal his family? He is angry at him for abandoning family members, yet he wants to do the same. It is interesting to note Jesus’ remarks when healing the paralytic (Mk 2:1-12) How much more should we realize that our Father shows us unending compassion when we do exactly the same thing? We take for granted his compassion (Ps 103:8- 13; Mt 23:37) How should we react when a sinner confesses their sin? Should it be with hostility or cold shoulder? Or should we be open to give them whatever they need to survive and welcome them home? (Luke 15:10 – the joy of the angels; Gal 6:1-2) Our treatment of struggling brethren will directly correspond to how often they will be open to sharing their struggles.
Angry at God’s Grace: The Prodigal Son’s Brother Luke 15:11-32 Envy (and GREED!) The Father divides the inheritance for both sons, but he is still receiving an income as he is still the head of the household and all business in the family. The Father is still in a place to financially provide for his family, yet the brother seems to be most interested in the money. This is reminiscent of Judas’ attitude when Mary Magdalene bathes Jesus in perfume (John 12). The oldest son received a double portion (Deut 21:15-17) “Wait, he gets his share plus more?! That means he is digging into my future inheritance!” “If I left, father would not treat me the same.” This is a feeble attempt at covering up his materialistic greed. “He got a fattened calf and I didn’t even get a young goat.” Jesus teaches that man cannot serve two masters; mammon or God. It is either/or.
Angry at God’s Grace: The Prodigal Son’s Brother Luke 15:11-32 Conclusion Remember the Context of the Prodigal Son – Rejoicing over the repentance of a sinner! Rejoicing over a lost sheep, rejoicing over a lost coin, rejoicing over a resurrected son The last statement in the parable is “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found." We cannot exhibit the same attitude as the Prodigal Son’s brother. We must rejoice at the grace we and our brothers are shown. No one is undeserving of God’s grace. God desires to save all and show compassion to all. Let us be willing to receive that compassion and allow our brother to receive it as well. We all need God’s compassion and everyone obtains it repeatedly in life. We cannot treat God’s grace as only obtainable to a select few. God’s grace is able to cleanse all (1John 1:9: Eph 2:8)