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The Other Brother


 Luke 15: 25-32

This morning we are going to talk about an issue that seems to be extremely difficult for people, perhaps even some of us, to do.

We are going to conclude our study of Luke 15 today by looking at the “Other Brother”…and as we study this morning hopefully we will learn some things that we need to know about forgiveness.

And, we might also learn that you do not necessarily have to go to the “distant country” to be separated from the Father.

A father has two sons….and the youngest one tells his father that he wants his share of the estate.

And that brings us to verse 25 and our study today.

It was ok for the father to restore the younger brother to son-ship…but he sure wasn’t going too.

Why? Why wasn’t this boy willing to forgive? His brother acknowledged his sin and was willing to be a simple “hired hand.” Why wasn’t this boy willing to forgive like his father was?

His father comes out and pleads with the boy and the boy says: “Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours, and yet you have never given me a kid that I might be merry with my friends…”

Do you see why he won’t forgive? The reason why he won’t forgive is because of his own self-righteousness!

Is that one of the reasons why we don’t want to forgive people?

A sister lies…but we aren’t going to forgive her because we have never lied!

Do we refuse to forgive someone because “I didn’t do that so they shouldn’t have either?”

But you know what…we often do what we refuse to forgive someone else for?

Which of us has been so perfect in our righteousness that we did not need to be forgiven?

God thinks so because in Matthew 6:15 Christ says, “If you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

 If Christ, as righteous as He was, is willing to forgive others…shouldn’t we?

Look at another reason this boy refuses to forgive…look at the end of verse 29. He says, “You have never given me a kid that I might make merry with my friends.”

 This boy is jealous!

Do we ever refuse to forgive someone because we are jealous?

While they are out there in the “distant country” and suffering we pat ourselves on the back and say, “Look what kind of a mess they are in and look at how good I am.”

Are we are jealous because of all the attention they receive?

Jealousy is a powerful thing…it was the chief cause behind these Jews and scribes crucifying Christ; Mark 15:10.

And jealousy can cause us to refuse to forgive another…and as a result, our own jealousy can and will destroy us.

Listen to these words found in Eph. 4: 31-32:  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

This older brother was jealous of the attention…and the compassion…and the restored relationship that his younger brother received…and if that is what is causing us to fail to forgive, we better put it away.

Look at another reason why this older brother refused to forgive his younger brother…look at verse 30:  “When this son of yours…”

“When this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with harlots…”

 “If it had been just a little lie…I could see forgiving that.”

“But this boy “devoured your wealth.”

Are there some sins that we just cannot and will not forgive?

We often deny it, but there are some sins that, God can forgive, “but not me.”

Look with me to 1 Corinthians 6:9. Notice these sins.

 Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor {the} covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Pretty bad sins aren’t they?

But look at the next verse:  1 Cor 6:11

And such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit of our God.

 If God will forgive those sins…shouldn’t we?

Back in Luke 15, notice what the father tells the older son in verse 31 and 32:  “And he said to him, ‘My child, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.

 ‘But we had to be merry and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and {has begun} to live, and {was} lost and has been found.”

 Look back up in verses 1 and 2 of this chapter.

Now, just a couple of quick points and we will close.

It may be that some one here this morning doesn’t think that God can or will forgive you.

Just as this boy’s father forgave him…our Father will forgive you and restore you to son-ship…just as if you had never left….no matter what you have done…or how long you did it.

Now, understand this, we have a lot of good people here in this congregation…people who love God and who desire to obey His will.

One more thing: I want you to notice in verse 28 that the “father” had to “come out and entreat” to this older son.

We call this story the story of the “Prodigal Son”…

And it makes no difference which one of the two boys you may be…the father wants you to come home.

Will you do that this morning?