The Other Prodigal Son

Date written: August 15th, 2004

SUBJECT: Evangelism

TITLE: The Other Prodigal Son

PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will take a look at the other prodigal son. 1) His knowledge, 2) His attitude, 3) His true possessions.

OBJECTIVE: Each should understand from Luke 15:25-32 the attitude that the saved ought to have toward the lost.

Aim: That each hearer would learn the wrong attitude of the other prodigal son and not imitate it.


1. Read: Luke 15:25-32

2. About the Text:

1) The context of this passage is Luke 15:1, 2 (read).

2) The Pharisees were upset with Jesus because he was eating with publicans and sinners.

3) They could not believe that Jesus’ truly represented God’s will because He did this.

4) It was a criticism that was leveled against Jesus on more than one occasion

a. Matthew 9:10, 11, 11:19

b. Mark 2:15, 16

c. Luke 5:30, 7:34, 15:1

5) Jesus always made it clear, however, that he was taking these opportunities to teach.

6) Jesus didn’t let the sinners and publicans off easy.

7) He taught them to repent.

a. Matthew 4:17

b. Mark 1:15, 6:12

8) It was on this occasion that Jesus was teaching the publicans and sinners that the Pharisees leveled their criticisms at him.

9) Jesus first tells the parable of the lost sheep.

10) Then he tells the parable of the lost coin.

11) Each parable concludes with the thought that there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents.

12) Jesus then tells the parable of the prodigal sons.

3. Most of the time this parable is discussed the younger son is the focus.

4. We want to focus on the older son in this lesson.

5. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.

DISCUSSION: In regard to the other prodigal son, we note . . .

I.   His Knowledge

1. Jesus starts the parable with the sentence, “A certain man had two sons.”

2. The older son knew the younger son.

1) By virtue of the fact that they were both of the same father, these two were brothers.

2) They were likely raised together and knew each other.

3) They would have studied together.

4) Worked together.

3. The older son knew the younger’s desire.

1) The younger didn’t ask of his father privately for his inheritance.

2) The older would have known of it.

3) He would at least have asked, “Where is my brother?”

4. The older son knew the inheritance that he would receive from the father.

1) Deut.21:17 indicates that the firstborn was to receive a double portion of the inheritance.

2) With the younger son sent away with his inheritance, all that was left belonged to the older son.

5. The older son knew the younger left.

1) He knew why the younger left.

2) He probably knew what the younger was going to do after he left.

3) Yet we never read of the older son advising the younger not to leave or even give warning to the younger.

4) Ezekiel 3:18, 19 “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.”

6. The older son knew the younger had returned.

1) Luke 15:25-27 (read)

2) He knew his brother had returned safe and sound.

3) He knew that his father was rejoicing.

4) He knew that his inheritance was being given away.

7. Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

II.  His Attitude

1. Read Luke 15:28-30

2. He was angry.

1) We’re reminded of Cain (Genesis 4:5-7).

2) We’re reminded of the prophet Jonah (4:1, 2).

3) Proverbs 19:11 states, “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.”

4) Proverbs 29:22 “An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.”

5) Eph.4:31 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”

3. He was selfish.

1) He was more concerned about himself than His brother.

2) Phil.2:4 “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

3) 1 Cor.10:24 “Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s good.”

4) 1 Cor.13:5 Love “does not seek it’s own.”

4. He was envious.

1) He had the “I want one too” syndrome.

2) We’re reminded of Pilate’s conclusions regarding the Jews in Matthew 27:18 “For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.”

3) Proverbs 27:4 “Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?”

4) Titus 3:3-7 ” For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

5. He was greedy/covetous.

1) His brother was banqueting upon his inheritance.

2) We’re reminded of the rich fool (Luke 12:13-21).

3) 1 John 3:17, 18 “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

4) 1 Timothy 6:17-19 “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

III. His True Possessions

1. Read Luke 15:31, 32

2. He had his father.

1) “Thou art ever with me.”

2) Romans 8:14, 15 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.”

3) Gal.4:6, 7 “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

3. He had his inheritance.

1) “All that I have is thine.”

2) We should consider that the power to destroy something is not the same as the power to possess something.

3) The Christian has “all things”—1 Cor.3:21-23 “Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.”

4) We have a great inheritance as well. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5).

4. He had his brother.

1) It is obvious that the older son did not value the relationship with his brother as he ought to have.

2) Do we?

3) Romans 12:10 “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;”

4) 1 Thess.4:9 “But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.”

5) Heb.13:1 “Let brotherly love continue.”

6) 1 Peter 1:22 “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:”


1. We last see the older brother, not in the father’s house rejoicing, but outside the house, stewing in his anger, bitterness, and jealousy.

2. Where will our attitudes be regarding our brothers and sisters in Christ?

1) Will we take knowledge of their lost souls, yet do nothing?

2) Will we let bad attitudes reign in our relationship with the lost?

3) Will we not take count of the true possessions that we have in Christ and be willing for others to share in that glory?

3. Invitation

1) If you are a faithful Christian…

a. This lesson is for you.

b. Don’t turn your nose up at the lost and dying.

c. Take them the message they need to know and heed to be right with God.

2) If you are not a faithful Christian…

a. We encourage you to repent and turn back to God.

b. God will rejoice and so will we when you do this.

3) If you are not a Christian . . .

a. We want you to turn to God too!

b. Obey God’s plan for you to be saved today!