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Slave or Son (4 of 4)

Mike Connell

Page 6 of 10
The father was waiting for him. Wonderful, most wonderful passage in the Bible, the verse in the Bible where it says: and the father saw him while he was a long way off and ran to him and hugged him, welcomed him. That's God. That's God. That's God. He can hug the gay person. He can hug the drug addict, hug the homeless, He can love people, not ashamed of people. Doesn't matter how fallen they are - but there's an older brother. Now let's have a look at the older brother. It's as though they're having a big party. I love it when God - God loves parties. He said every time a sinner gets saved, then they have a party. Isn't that good? So the more we get saved the more partying - I like that. That's really good, parties in heaven. I don't know what you think you're going to do? Sit around there playing a harp or something. No, you're not going to be doing that at all, it's ridiculous. Having a party! Oh, joy unspeakable! Here it is: so anyway, here was the other brother and so - Verse 25 - the older son was in the field and as he came and drew near to the house he heard the music and the dancing, heard all the dancing, whoa. Wonder if it was salsa dancing ... [Laughter] ... Wonder what kind of dancing it was. There was dancing and music, so they're having a party and having great fun. So he called one of the servants and he asked what these things meant, what's going on? He said your brother's come - your brother, notice - and your father has received him safe and sound and you father's killed the fatted calf, you know the big fat one? He's killed it and your father's invited everyone. We are having a party, the wine is out, the food is out. It's all on. The son has come back.

But he was angry and he would not go in, so his father had to come out. The father had to go out and meet the other son and the father's gone out to meet this one. He pleaded with him, please come in. Please come in, please come in, don't stay out. Please come in - but he said this: 'Lo, these many years I've been serving you; I've never transgressed your commandment at any time. You never gave me a young goat. You never made me a young goat that I may make merry with my friends. You never touched me the way you've touched someone else. You never poured your glory on me like you poured it on someone else. You never did miracles in my life like you did it in others, no. No, you never did any of that. As soon as this son of yours comes back - he's devoured your livelihood with the prostitutes and now you've gone and killed the fatted calf!

He said to him, son, you're always with me, all I have is yours. It was right we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, he was lost and he's found. What an amazing thing - so the older brother was serving in the field. Now here's the thing, you have to understand this. He had no revelation of his sonship. He had no revelation of the father's heart. He just served in the house. He would be a representative in this particular case of the Pharisees and the scribes who had no understanding of the heart of God for the lost. Of course mentally when I say Pharisee and scribe you exclude yourself. Isn't that true? Oh, well who would say I'm a Pharisee? I'm just a Pharisee. No one would say that. I think they might be - anyway that's how it goes.

So here's the thing. He had an orphan spirit. He had no revelation of the father's love so he too was spiritually an orphan and he had a slave mentality. Now when you look at this passage you're going to see exactly what it looks like in a church context. Let's just have a look and you'll see. Now you notice what happens, there's some celebration and the first thing is when he heard about the brother's arrival and the father's celebration this is what he did. His heart, as soon as he heard it, closed up. His spirit closed up. What do you do when life doesn't go well for you, when you have troubles or difficulties or setbacks or things around you don't go right? Do you open up your heart to God to look at that situation, or do you close your spirit and withdraw?