A. The Conflict
1. The publicans and sinners come
Luke 15:1 – “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.”
2. The Pharisees and scribes complain
Luke 15:2 – “And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.”
B. The Message
1. Rejoicing when a lost sheep is found
Luke 15:3-6 – “And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.”
2. Rejoicing when a lost coin is found
Luke 15:8-9 – “Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.”
3. Rejoicing when a lost son is returned repentant
Luke 15:22-24 – “But 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: and bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”
4. Rejoicing by God the Father when a sinner repents
Luke 15:7 – “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”
Luke 15:10 – “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”
I. The Other Brother Did NOT Agree with the Father.
Luke 15:24-28a – “Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry . . . .”
II. The Other Brother Became Angry with the Father.
Luke 15:28-30 – “And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”
III. The Other Brother Broke Fellowship with the Father.
Luke 15:28 – “And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.”
IV. The Other Brother Cared Only about Himself.
Luke 15:29-30 – “And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: but as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”
V. The Other Brother Continued in Bitterness against the Father.
Luke 15:31-32 – “And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”
Note: The parable ends without any indication of repentance on the part of “the other brother.” In fact, both brothers departed from fellowship with their father. The younger son broke fellowship through a sinful lifestyle, whereas the older son broke fellowship through a sinful attitude. Furthermore, the older son engaged in a broken fellowship while never leaving the father’s house, and while having continued in outward, “religious” service and obedience to the father.