Summary: God has given us the ability to find our way home if we should ever come to our senses.
The parable of the Prodigal son is the third of the “Lost” parables but there is something different about this one.
In the parable of the lost sheep, the shepherd goes out looking for the lost sheep.
In the parable of the lost coin, the woman turns the house upside down trying to find the coin.
In the parable of the lost son, the father does nothing to stop the son from leaving and never goes out searching for the son.
One thing to think about here is that the sheep and coin could not find their way home.
God has given you and me this thing we call “Free will” and we can choose to stay or we can choose to go. God has also given us the ability to find our way home if we should ever come to our senses.
I want to look at the heart of the Father, in the passage. I want us to see three things about the Father’s heart.
1. The Father Has a Watchful Heart:
In verse 20 we read “And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming.”
The Father did not go out searching the streets for his lost son but we can see from this verse that he kept a watchful eye down the road that leads home.
The son walked away from the father turned his back on his family and yet the father never stopped watching for the son to come home.
The Father of heaven is watch down the road that leads home for you, today…are you on your way?
Romans 5: 8 “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
While we were still enemies of God He gave His Son so we could find our way home.
2. The Father Has a Compassionate Heart:
Notice that the Father comes running to the son in verse 20.
I see this father, as he first catches a glimpse of his son. He doesn’t wait for the son to come crawling home, begging for forgiveness. This father does something that no self-respecting Jewish man would ever do. He pulled up his robe and RAN.
I read a study that said one reason he ran to his son was to protect him. See the community knew what the son had done and the shame he brought to his father. They could have stoned the man’s son without question.
Satan does not want you to come and will do what he needs to do to keep you from reaching the arm of your Father.
According to Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
Jesus had compassion on the people who had walked away and were living the live they chose for themselves.
Jesus’ heart ached for those who wandered away and chose to live a life separate from God.
Listen to Matthew 23: 37,38 “"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me.
38 And now, look, your house is abandoned and desolate.”
Maybe you feel that you have gone too far to come home…you’ve done too much…been too bad.
The Father is standing at the gate ready to welcome you IF you will just come home.
3. The Father Has a Forgiving Heart:
Look at the son’s confession in verse 21 “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.”
That’s all it takes…
Romans 3: 23 tells us… “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard.” BUT
1John 1: 9 says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Look at the father’s gifts: A new robe…A new ring…New shoes and a party.
Romans 6: 23 tells us “For the wages of sin [is] death, but the gift of God [is] eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I deserve the worst but He gives me His best.
There is a celebration in heaven every time one lost child comes home.
It amazes me, as I watch fans go crazy when their favorite team scores a point. Yet, in most churches we can barely scrape up a quiet amen when someone comes to Christ for salvation.
Would you stop wandering and wallowing today and come home?