Parable: The Lost Son. Luke 15:11-32

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1 1 Parable: The Lost Son Luke 15:11-32

2 2 Text: Luke 15:11-32, Parable: The Lost Son 11. And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12. And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 14. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. 15. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 17. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18. I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19. And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20. And he arose and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. 21. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 22.But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

3 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. 25. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh 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 unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. 28. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 29. 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: 30. But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. 31. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32. 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. Introduction: I. This is in fact the parable of the two sons, both having departed from the right way. A. The younger son returned to the father in penitence. B. Whether the second modified his sinful attitude is left in doubt. II. Two applications:

4 4 A. The younger son may represent the Gentiles who early departed from God the Father. The older son may represent the Jews who technically remained with God although they attitudinally departed from the Father by their self-righteousness, pride and disdain of others. B. The second possible application applies to every generation and covers those who depart from God overtly only to penitently return and those who stay home doing their duty but with a really rotten attitude. Commentary: The Younger Brother Luke 15:11, 12, And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. I. In this parable a certain man was said to have had two sons. A. The younger son demanded his part of the father s estate; that is, his inheritance. B. The father, according to Jewish law, was not required to honor his son s request. C. However, the father allowed his son to exercise his freewill as God allows us to exercise our freewill. D. We are free to choose our lifestyles, but we are also responsible for the results of our choices.

5 5 E. The father divided unto them his possessions. The younger son was traditionally given 1/3 while the firstborn was given 2/3. Luke 15:13, And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. I. Soon after he had received his inheritance he left home, A. went into a far country, sinful country. B. wasted his substance with riotous living. II. The prodigal (wasteful) son should have carefully invested his inheritance. A. He should not have rebelliously and greedily demanded his portion of his father s estate. B. He should never have gone to a far (sinful) country. III. Like many of our day this younger son was irresponsible and undisciplined! A. In what actions do we see this type of irresponsibility today? B.... on the job, financially, in the family, in social relationships, in business?

6 6 Luke 15:14, And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. I. The younger son soon was broke having wastefully squandered all he possessed. A. To make matters worse a mighty famine struck the far country. B. He was reaping what he had sown (and so will we!) C. Sin had reduced this person to a condition of desperate want! D. The younger son had certainly not expected this state of affairs! II. Where were his friends with whom he had wasted his substance in riotous living? A. Not one was to be found anywhere! Luke 15:15, And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. I. The younger son did find a minimum wage job feeding swine, a job that would have been despised by all self-respecting Jews. A. Pork was unclean meat. B. The younger son who chaffed under his father s benevolent guidance found himself serving a Gentile feeding detestable hogs! C. Nothing could have been worse for a Jew! This was the pits!

7 7 D. There was no way out of his plight on his own. He could not save himself. Luke 15:16, And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. I. The husks were the pods of the carob bean, a coarse bean with a certain sugar content still used in the East for feeding swine. A. The carob beans were remarkably uniform in weight and size and came to be the measure for one carat, one carob bean equals one carat in regard to diamonds. B. The beans were not edible being hard and worthless as food. II. Even though the younger son was in dire straits, no one gave him any help whatsoever. A. If we were in dire straits, who would help us? B. Do we help those who are in dire straits? Luke 15:17, And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I. When he came to himself indicates that the younger son had been out of his mind! A. Sin is a disease. B. The younger son realized the only way out of his predicament was to return to his father.

8 8 C. The only way out of our predicament is to return to our Father. D. The least servant in his father s house was better off than he was. II. The younger son was honest. He had come to himself. A. He did not deny his condition nor blame his problems on others. B. He offered no excuses for his conduct. Luke 15:18, 19, I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. I. The younger son resolved to take the only way out of his terrible plight. A. He decided to confess that he had sinned against God and his father and to return home. B. He decided to acknowledge that he was no more worthy to be called a son and determined to ask for work in his father s employ like any other hired servant. II. All people of this age as well must recognize that there is only one way out of our terrible plight. A. We must decide to sincerely confess our sins and to return home.

9 9 B. We must acknowledge that we are not worthy of salvation and cast ourselves on the mercy of God. III. The prodigal son made the resolution and promptly acted upon it. A. Good intentions alone are not enough to gain relief from our sins. B. Sin is against one s self, family, society, but most especially against God. C. Example: Genesis 39:10, And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. D. If Joseph had yielded to this temptation he would have sinned against Potiphar, against Potiphar s wife, against himself, against people of his own family and, most of all, he would have sinned against God. Luke 15:20, 21, And he arose and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. I. His father, even while he was a great way off, saw him, had compassion on him, ran to him, fell on his neck and kissed him. A. The father must have been longing to see his son one day return home and appears to have been watching the road for his approach. B. The same is true of our Father in heaven.

10 10 C. The father did not force his son to return home. The return had to be voluntary then and has to be voluntary now. II. The younger son made the confession as planned, casting himself on the mercy of his father. A. All are saved by grace! B. He was not welcomed just because he had walked a long way to get home. III. The prodigal son: A. had been alone. B. had a shameful job. C. had been hungry. (The hogs had plenty to eat!) D. had been tortured by memories of his father s comfortable house. E. had gotten himself into this mess through a Give me. What s in it for me? attitude. F. taken up with worldly companions. G. had a lack of vision. Luke 15:22-24, But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us

11 11 eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry. I. The father ordered the servants to bring: A. the best robe and put it on him. B. a signet ring and put it on his finger. C. shoes and put them on his feet. D. a fatted calf made ready for a banquet. II. All began to make merry because the son who was spiritually dead was alive again, the son who had been lost was now found. III. The prodigal son never did get to apply for a job as a hired servant because the father did not give him an opportunity to get that far in his planned remarks. IV. Sonship status with all its rights and privileges had been restored. The Elder Brother Luke 15:25, Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. I. All were merry upon the return of the prodigal son except the older brother who was angry and resentful. II. Upon his return from working in the fields the older brother heard the music and dancing and wondered what was going on.

12 12 III. Notice that the father did not ask the older son if he thought they should receive the younger son back into the family! A. The older brother had no vote nor say in the matter. He was not even consulted. B. So it is with us now! Luke 15:26, 27, And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 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. I. The elder son did not inquire directly of his father what was going on, but rather asked one of the servants. A. Was there rapport between the father and the older son? B. Is there rapport between us and our heavenly Father? II. The older brother resented his father s accepting the younger brother back into the family and evidenced jealously and sibling rivalry. A. He felt unappreciated and that he had been wronged. B. This was his perception which did not agree with the facts. C. He became very angry! Luke 15:28, And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.

13 13 I. The elder brother pouted and would not join in the party! A. This was the evil attitude of the scribes and Pharisees who criticized Jesus for associating with publicans and sinners. B. The scribes and Pharisees were self-righteous and disdainful of others. II. The father, as Jesus had been doing with the scribes and Pharisees, left the party, went to the elder son and entreated him to join in the festivities and to be reconciled with his brother. Luke 15:29,30, 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: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. I. The elder brother spouted off at his father. A. I have served you for many years. B. I never transgressed even one of your commandments. C. You never gave me a big dinner, not even a kid much less a fatted calf, that I might make merry with my friends. D. I am good and right. You have not treated me fairly. This is what the older son was saying.

14 14 E. The older brother should have been giving to the father, not the other way around, because he owned all the estate, two-thirds of all the father originally possessed. F. Evidently the older brother did not want to share anything he had with anybody. II. Furthermore, when this thy son, not my brother, took a notion to come home after living with prostitutes (harlots) you killed for him the fatted calf and gave a party in his honor and didn t even issue me an invitation. A. Wonder how long the elder brother held this grudge against the father and his younger brother? Luke 15:31, 32, And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 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. I. Even though he had been angrily attacked, the father responded in a loving and conciliatory manner. A. Son, you are ever with me. My feelings toward you and your station in my house are unchanged and will permanently remain as they are. B. The return of your brother will not change our relationship, the father was saying. C. Everything I have is yours, the father said.

15 15 D. It was appropriate for us to make merry and be glad for your brother was dead and is now alive, was lost and is found. II. The last we see of this elder brother reveals him standing outside pouting, angrily resenting both his father and his younger brother. A. That is also the last picture we have of the Jewish scribes and Pharisees who refused to welcome the Gentiles into Christ s kingdom. B. Some early Jewish Christians did accept the Father s invitation to the feast. III. God the Father seeks the salvation of the lost regardless of which sins they may have committed. A. How long do we hold a person s past against them? Conclusion: I. We as Christians have the fundamental job of seeking and saving the lost. A. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through

16 16 us. We implore you on Christ s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. B. God does not hold people s past against them when they come to him in penitence! C. We certainly must not hold people s past against them when they come to God in penitence! II. We must extend to the penitent acceptance and the right hand of fellowship. A. A letter to a newspaper columnist said, I wish the tourists would stop coming to our church because their presence offends us. It is hard for us to worship with them here! B. When a community organization began to serve lunch to the street people in the church youth center members were heard to say, Those people are here for hours. We ve got to do something to keep them from hanging around the church. They give people the wrong impression. C. In another church a few new people from the community started coming to the Wednesday night dinner. One person was heard to say, They are just here for the food. They aren t really interested in our service. I don t think people like that ought to be encouraged. III. Our attitude must be the attitude of Christ.

17 17 The Lost Sons Questions 1. The son returned to the in. 2. Whether the son repented of his is left in doubt. 3. Whom did Jesus have in mind when he spoke of the younger son? Whom did Jesus have in mind when he spoke of the older son? 4. Are Christian parents free of the problems associated with wayward children? 5. Do Christian parents have fewer wayward children than non-christian parents? 6. Does the Bible call this wayward son The Prodigal Son? Why is he called prodigal?

18 The younger son in the far country found himself in a famine, in want. Are Christians immune to famines and want? 8. The younger son found himself in dire straits and nobody helped him. If we disciples were in dire straits, to whom would we go for help? 9. The younger son in his trouble determined to return to his father who welcomed him most lovingly. Why had not the father gone into the far country sooner and brought him home? 10. The hogs had been better off than the younger son. What do you make of that?

19 Sibling rivalry remains alive and well. Give examples. 12. The elder son had served the father for many years and had never once transgressed even one of his commands. Is this enough or must we also have the right attitude? 13. Did the return of the younger son cost the older son anything? 14. Which son did the father love more? 15. We have the of and the.

20 We must extend to any and all sinners and the of.

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