Sermonette: The Elder Brother

#1338s

Given 27-Aug-16; 16 minutes

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Three well-known parables in Luke 15 emphasize that every life matters —- every life is worth saving. The older brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son felt that he had remained loyal to the family's honor, while his younger brother disgraced the family and had squandered all his inheritance. After hitting rock bottom, having to eat swine's food, the prodigal son came to his senses, and was willing to accept any humiliation if his father would take him back as a menial servant. The older brother, slow to forgive his younger, focused upon himself and dishonored his father by berating him for having compassion on him who he considered a "worthless sinner." Instead of pulling rank on the older son, the father also treated him with compassion. Many of us are, or have been, in the same position as the older brother—looking down on those who have stumbled. We are not equipped to judge the sincerity of anybody else's repentance, and consequently should never gainsay the compassion of our Heavenly Father. Instead, we should emulate our Heavenly Father, being willing to extend forgiveness to a repentant brother or sister, responding with love and self- control. We need to pray for the ability or the power to reconcile.

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