The Lost Younger Brother

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MESSAGE #1:  The Lost Younger Brother

“The Prodigal Son” / Read Luke 15:11-31

“Among all the things that our Lord said, none is more wonderful in its light and its shade, its color and its glory, than this.” – G. Campbell Morgan

There are two mistakes we often make with this parable:
  • We underestimate its depth
Essentially retells the story of the entire Bible and the story of the Human race.  If the teachings of Jesus can be likened to a lake – this parable is one of the clearest spots where we can see all the way to the bottom.
  • We limit its application
Luke 15:1-2   Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 3And he spake this parable unto them… 11And he said, A certain man had two sons…

Self Indulgence Vs. Moral Conformity

“There are two ways to be your own Savior and Lord.  One is by breaking all the moral laws and setting your own course, and one is by keeping all the moral laws and being very, very good.  …Within this story, Jesus teaches that the two most common ways to live are both spiritual dead ends.  …Jesus purpose is not to warm our hearts, but to shatter our categories.” -Tim Keller “Prodigal God” K.p. 1111

Our story begins at the Father’s House…

(Where there is love, abundance, freedom, faith)
Luke 15:11-13   And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. (GIVE ME MY SHARE OF THE ESTATE) And he divided unto them his living (Grk. “Bios” LIFE). 13And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous (RECKLESS – self indulgent) living.

NOTE:  To ask this while the Father still lived was essentially to wish him dead.  The younger son was saying essentially that he wants his father’s things…but not his Father.

“His relationship to the father has been a means to an end of enjoying his wealth, and now he is weary of that relationship.  He wants out.”
Luke 15:14-19   14And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. 15And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy HIRED SERVANTS.

NOTE:  “Hired Servants” were various kinds of tradesman and craftsmen who lived in local villages and earned a wage.  The younger son hoped to gain an apprenticeship whereby he might repay his Father and re-enter the family.
20And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

“As a general rule, distinguished Middle Eastern patriarchs did not run.  Children might run; women might run; young men might run.  But not the PATERFAMILIAS, the dignified pillar of the community, the owner of the great estate.  He would not pick up his robes and bare his legs like some boy.  But this father does.  He runs to his son and, showing his emotions openly, falls upon him and kisses him.” - Tim Keller “Prodigal God” K.p. 235

This story ends where it began…at the Father’s House.


Read Luke 15:1-10
Similarities:  Something is lost / Something is found / There is rejoicing
One Difference…  The elder brother refuses to come seek him.  He refused to pay the price.  But our elder brother DID.


Brian Loveless has been serving as Lead Pastor for Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, TX since November 2003. Brian shepherds, leads, feeds, and guides Calvary’s congregation, staff, and guests to spiritual growth and service for Jesus Christ. His main goals remain for folks to see God, share life, serve others, and stay connected.