Luke 15:26-32

Luke 15:26 (KJB)
And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.

While the elder brother was still in the field, he had called to one of the servants to find the meaning of what all the celebration was all about back at the house. This servant had just come from the house and was able to give him the information he desired. It was probably strange to the elder brother that there would be a celebration in the middle of a workday.

Luke 15:27 (KJB)
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.

The servant gave him the information as to what was happening back at the house. The elder brother was now facing two particulars: The first, was that his younger brother had now returned from his wayward life and the second, was that his father welcomed him back with much fanfare, including the killing of the special fatted calf which was for special occasions only. The father had rejoiced because the younger son had returned to him safe and well, though he may have been shy a few pounds but the father would take care of that. (Joel 2:25 KJV) And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.

Luke 15:28 (KJB)
And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.

The older brother was angry and had refused to go and join the celebration. Since the elder brother represented the scribes and Pharisees, it was the same situation with them. Instead of looking upon Jesus as the promised Messiah with salvation, they refused to acknowledge him and in its place, chose to vilify Him and see how they could reject and destroy Him. The father came outside and entreated the older brother to come in and join the celebration. The word “entreated” carries with it the meaning of “imploring, kept urging, or begging.” The father went out of his home twice, the first to meet his younger son and the second time to entreat his older son. He had refused to come in because he greatly disapproved of the way the father had welcomed his son. This is akin to those who think they can work for their salvation, they disdain the grace of God because to become saved, all one has to do is receive it. When the younger son returned home, he did not do any work, he did not make a move toward his father, instead, the father made the move toward him with much joy. The son just received the gift of acceptance by his father. It is the same with salvation, God accepts us in the same way with much joy. Remember verse 10. (Luke 15:10 KJV) Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

Luke 15:29 (KJB)
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:

The elder brother did not show any appearance of softening at his father’s gesture with the younger son, instead the accusations came of the tongue of the elder brother with much bitterness and even envy. The eleven sons of Jacob hated Joseph because Jacob loved him and made him a coat of many colors. Here is the same situation. The elder brother was very angry that the younger brother was treated so nicely. His evil complaint against his father was a list of everything he had self-righteously done for which he had never been rewarded. His response was very bitter because he did not even address his father properly. He had spoken of his relationship to his father as less than a son and only as a servant/slave for him. This is how unbelievers see their service to God. He had considered that service to his father was nothing more than a duty instead of a privilege. Then he reminded his father that he always obeyed his command. This is what the Pharisees had claimed, that they too always obeyed. The elder son’s arrogant response was totally opposite of the humble and contrite attitude of his younger brother. Then he accused his father of never having rewarded him so much as to give him a kid or a little goat, which would have been worth much less than the fatted calf.

Luke 15:30 (KJB)
But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

Then in the final accusation, he shows not even one bit of joy that his younger brother has finally come home, instead he engages in character assassination. The father knew what kind of life the younger son had led and that would have included the harlots, but the elder son is making sure he emphasizes the fact of that lifestyle and then couple that with the killing of the fatted calf. It is almost like the elder son is accusing the father of celebrating the younger son’s debauched lifestyle with a feast. If you also notice that the elder brother refers to the younger brother as “thy son” and does not even acknowledge him as his brother. This is how many view the grace of God. They do not understand the principle of restoration and once a person becomes saved, whatever was done in the past, has been forgotten by God and forgiven. (Heb 8:12 KJV) For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (Col 2:13 KJV) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Luke 15:31 (KJB)
And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.

His father did not rebuke him for what he accused him of, instead he answers him very affectionately. The word “son” in the Greek is “child.” This showed that he had a great affection for both of his sons. Then he assures him that all the inheritance is his since the younger brother already received his and wasted it. How many times do people accuse God of something and He never responds in the same tone they accuse Him.

Luke 15:32 (KJB)
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.

The father then attempts to express his joy to the elder son and states that it was necessary that we should have a time of merriment and it was a time of gladness. His younger brother had thought that he was going to have the time of his life and that it would last a long time. (1 Tim 5:6 KJV) But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth. The principle is that those who live in sin, even though they are breathing well, it is like they are dead. Dead to the things of God and their lifestyle will lead them to eternal death. (Eph 2:5 KJV) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Jesus ends up with the third found item which was the younger brother. We are not given the response by the elder brother but Jesus got His point across to the scribes and Pharisees that serving God is more than being a slave to the legal code, it involves loving others and sharing those blessings which God gives us.