#31 "Jesus,the True Elder Brother" Luke 15:11-32

“Jesus,the True Elder Brother” out of Luke 15:11-32 was shown on Sunday, August 12th, by Pastor Timothy Keller at the worship gathering of Ekklesia Muskogee. Week #31 in Ekklesia’s The King and His Cross sermon series.

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Scripture – Luke 5:11-32

11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to[a] one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

Big Idea

“I was already pastoring a church when I was confronted with the radical idea that the gospel is neither religion nor irreligion, neither morality nor immorality, but something else entirely. We’ve built our vision for Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and our leadership training around this concept. This core message of the gospel is seen most clearly, I believe, in Jesus’ famous parable called “The Parable of the Prodigal Son.” I hope small groups and whole churches will go through this material together, because truth is most transformative when encountered in community. My prayer is that both younger brothers and elder brothers will realize that the only way home is through a prodigal God.”   – TIMOTHY KELLER


  • 1. Was there anything from the sermon that was new to you or had an effect on you? Did you hear anything that raised questions in your mind?
  • 2. Who do you identify with more, the younger brother or the elder brother? Why?
  • 3. How close is a great feast to your idea of heaven?
  • 4. Is there anything you would like the group to pray for you personally or as a result of what you saw on the sermon?

Good Word

The truth is, religion and irreligion both leave you outside of relationship to God. Only by radical grace can you be ushered into the feast. The one who shows us this radical grace is Jesus. Jesus is our true elder brother who left his heavenly home, came and found us, and saved us at great cost to himself. If you get this- if you understand and trust in the gospel of Jesus- this changes everything. Be changed more and more every day by this great news of the Prodigal God. Amen.