Three parables illustrate Jesus’ response to the charge against Him by the Pharisees and scribes. Their accusation? “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
- “The Lost Sheep” – Lk 15:3-7
- “The Lost Coin” – Lk 15:8-10
- “The Prodigal Son”
The Prodigal Son can rightfully be called the parable of “The Loving Father”
- It reveals more about the love of the father than of the sinfulness of the younger son
- The parable also reveals much about the heart of the unforgiving elder son, whose purpose in this parable is to rebuke those unwilling to reach out and receive the lost who repent
1) THE SONS DEPARTURE FROM HOME – Lk 15:11-13a
The younger son asks his father to give him his portion of the inheritance due him
- Like so many impatient young people today, the younger son…
o Desired to be free from parental restraints
o Desired to have his father’s inheritance “now”
o The father grants him his request, and he takes all that he has to a distant country
2) HIS LIFE ABROAD – Lk 15:13b-19
- With “prodigal” (wasteful, extravagant) living, he soon depletes his possessions
- In desperation, he hires himself to another to feed his pigs
- With great hunger, he would have gladly eaten what was given to the pigs
- He finally comes to his senses…
o Recalling how well fed were his father’s hired servants
o They had plenty, and here he was, perishing with hunger!
o So to hunger and humiliation, there is now added homesickness
- He resolves to return home…
o To confess his sin against heaven (i.e., God’s will) and his father
o To confess his unworthiness to be called his father’s son
o To be made only like one of his father’s hired servants
3) HIS RETURN HOME – Lk 15:20-24
- The father’s great love is immediately evident…
o He has compassion
o He runs to greet his son
o He throws his arms around his son’s neck
o He kisses him
- Before he can even say “Make me one of your hired servants”, the father joyfully calls upon his servants to…
o Bring out the best robe and put it on him
o Put a ring on his hand, and sandals on his feet
o Kill the fatted calf in order to celebrate his return
o All of which serve to reinstate the son as a person of importance and authority
4) THE RESPONSE OF THE ELDER BROTHER- Lk 15:25-32
- The elder son, returning from the field, wonders what the celebration is about
- When told by one of the servants, he angrily refuses to go in
- The elder son’s complaints:
o For many years he had served his father
o He had never transgressed his father’s will
o The father had never provided such a celebration for him
OBSERVATIONS OF THE PARABLE
A) WAYS TO AVOID BEING A PRODIGAL
- Being thankful for what your father has given you
o 1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
- Looking at the big picture (Seeing the future)
B) BLESSINGS OF STAYING IN THE HOUSE (THE ELDER SON)
- You get to keep the whole of your inheritance
- Obedience is better than sacrifice
- There is safety when you stay in the house (The Cities of Refuge)
- The Heavenly Father will accept you back, BUT NOT EVERYONE MAKES IT BACK
C) UNDERSTANDING DAY TWO
- It is easy to be frustrated with the people who always seem to get away with everything
- We don’t know what happens on day two: The guilt, The loneliness, etc.
- Natural consequences are usually more difficult that anything people can put on you
o Did any of the women he was with become pregnant?
o Did he contract any diseases?
o Did he ever regain the trust and respect of his family and peers?
o His inheritance was lost forever
D) A BIBLICAL RESPONSE TO THE YOUNGER SON
The faithful children of God need to understand the proper way to receive the erring child who returns to God
Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth,more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Luke 5:31-32 Those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.
Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 2. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
GREATEST STORIES EVER TOLD SERIES
SERMON ONE: THE PARABLE OF THE MUSTARD SEED
SERMON TWO: THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER (THE FOUR SOILS)
SERMON THREE: THE PARABLE OF THE WHEAT AND THE TARES
SERMON FOUR: THE PARABLE OF THE COSTLY PEARL
SERMON FIVE: THE PARABLE OF THE TALENTS
SERMON SIX: THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON