Sermon Illustrations

Philip Yancey wrote in his book, “What’s so Amazing about Grace?” There was a woman brought before Jesus caught in the act of adultery. The Pharisee wanted her to be stoned as the Law commanded. They wanted to trick Jesus, they wanted to find fault with his teachings. He bent over and began writing in the sand and one by one the men disappeared. Then Jesus said, go and sin no more. Do you know what that is? That is grace. It is undeserved love from God.

A young girl was tired of her parents strict rules; they were keeping from having fun. So one night she has an argument with her father, “I hate you!” she screams. Later that night she decides to run away. She made it to a big city and met a man who buys her lunch, arranges a place for her to stay, and gives her some pills to make her fell better. She decides this is the good life.

The good life continues for a month, 2 months, a year. The nice man, she calls him Boss – teaches her how to do things that men liked and since she is underage men pay a premium for her. In turn he allowed her to live in a nice penthouse apt, orders room service as she pleases. Occasionally she thinks about her life back home – her parents, how her golden retriever would run out to greet her, but that life is a long way away.

Before she realizes what is happening she is out on the street addicted to drugs and needing a fix. One night as she laid covered with newspapers over her coat she realized she is no longer a woman of the world – she is feels like a little girl, lost in a cold and frightening city.

“God why did I leave?” She says to herself. The pain stabs her heart. “My dog back home eats better than I do now.” She is crying now and realizes that more than anything else she wants to go home. She calls and leaves a message on her parents answering machine – I want to come home, I’m taking a bus and I’ll be there in 3 days around midnight. If you’re not there, well, I guess I’ll just stay on the bus unit it hits Canada.

On the trip home she is thinking about what she will say – if they are even there. She rehearses in her mind the scene. The bus finally arrives. The driver calls out “15 minutes is all we have here.” She has 15min to decide her life.

She walks into the terminal not knowing what to expect. There in the concrete-walls-and-plastic-chairs of the bus terminal stood a group of 40 brothers, sisters, aunt, uncles, grandparents, and parents – all wearing funny party hats and blowing noise makers. She stares thru the tears quivering in her eyes like hot mercury and begins her memorized speech, “Dad, I’m sorry. I know…”

Her dad interrupts her. “Shhhh child. We’ve got no time for that. No time for aplogies, were late for the part party. A banquets waiting for you at home.” In life, we are always looking for a catch, but in Jesus’ stories there isn’t one. In the story of the prodigal there is unconditional love called grace.