Summary: The prodigal returned to God: he sought reconciliation with his Father. He no longer simply thought it over; he was now repenting and going to the Father
20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.[a]’
22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. (NLT)
The book of Luke was written to give a reliable and precise record of the history of Jesus Christ’s life. Luke spelled out his purpose for writing in the first four verses of chapter one. Not only as an historian, but also as a medical doctor, Luke paid great attention to detail, including dates and events that happened throughout the life of Christ. A theme that is emphasized in the Gospel of Luke is the humanity of Jesus Christ and his perfection as a human. Jesus was the perfect man who gave the perfect sacrifice for sin, therefore, providing the perfect Savior for humankind.
In this sermon series we first dealt with the story of the Sinful Woman and the Pharisee, and then we dealt with the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector; now we want to explore for a moment the story of the Prodigal Son. Usually when a sermon preached concerning this wonderful of the Prodigal Son—the focus is placed on either the prodigal son or the elder brother. However, I would like to place emphasis on the father this morning.
Here in the text, we see the father’s love and desire to bless his son never changed even though the son had left. The father saw the boy returning while he was still afar off. This means the father was indeed looking for him. When he saw him he ran to him. It was a Jewish tradition that it was not proper for a Jew over 30 years old to run. However, the father overlooked the tradition of the elders this one time because was coming home. This is for sure the greatest moment for the son and his father, and allow me to add that it is equally a momentous event in the life of any sinner who has decided to come out of the darkness and into God’s marvelous Light.
1.) He Returned To His Father
The prodigal returned to God: he sought reconciliation with his Father. He no longer simply thought it over; he was now repenting and going to the Father. So many people can be found in any given worship service, at any given Church where Christ is preached, who has not fully surrendered their lives to God. There is no sure way to know who they are unless they say so themselves—and this is the very reason most Churches include an invitation directly after the sermon has been preached.
In fact, the invitation begins when a hand of welcome is extended at the door. When a member of the church reaches forth his or her hand, they are asking for a response. When the visitor extends his or her hand for a warm handshake, they are responding, and the invitation has begun! This is why it is so important for there to be a friendly, relaxed atmosphere in the early part of the service. When the invitation is accepted this is when the party should begin.
A party? Well, in our case a party is just a social gathering of like-minded people who love fellowship in the Lord with one another. I know that before we the found the Lord, a party meant something else entirely different that included strong drink and entertainment—I know. Most of the time a party denotes a celebration, like celebrating the birthday of a two year old or celebrating a milestone in someone’s life such as graduating from High School or College. Well, anyone who once lived a life full of sin and was headed for a life in hell but has now decided to turn and give his or her life to Jesus. They deserve a party, and so let the party begin!
Look at this text if you will, and notice that the Father accepted the son even before he confessed his sin. Now this is important, because repentance is a sign that we are sincere when we confess, and God knows we are sincere when He sees us actually turning away from our wicked ways. God is omniscient—which is the state of having total knowledge, the quality of knowing everything.” For God to be sovereign over His creation of all things, whether visible or invisible, He has to be all knowing. His omniscience is not restricted to any one person in the Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all by nature omniscient. If you have truly repented, God knows!