Summary: Our church needs to be a place where broken people can recover.
Today’s message is about recovery from brokenness.
This has been a strength of MCC and I hope it always is.
Jesus loves and heals broken hearted people.
Let’s be a church that He can use in this process.
Our passage for today is Luke 15(11-24).
Being lost or losing something is a condition we can all relate to.
Each of us has known the sadness of losing something special.
• A favorite toy.
• A job.
• Family heirloom.
Whatever the case, we’ve all known the sadness of losing something special.
In today’s passage, something of tremendous worth is lost.
More specifically, someone is lost.
It’s the parable of the Lost Son - a story told in 3 stages with lessons to be learned from each stage.
As we take a closer look at this parable, we’ll explore each stage and its’ underlying lesson.
The stages are: Rebellion, Repentance, Restoration.
STAGE 1: REBELLION
o The younger son demands his share of the estate.
o Entitled to 1/3.
o 2/3 would go to the eldest son upon the father’s death.
o It was a fair request – but painful.
o It’s almost like he was telling his father, “I can’t wait for you to die.”
Most of us can relate to the younger son’s desire to leave home.
o There are good reasons to want to leave home.
• Independent productive life.
• Contributing member of society.
• Marry, have a family of your own.
But, this young rebel was leaving for bad reasons:
• Wanted to party-hearty.
• Live a wild & reckless life.
o If we’re honest – all of us have faced this temptation.
“ WE ALL, LIKE SHEEP, HAVE GONE ASTRAY, EACH OF US HAS TURNED TO HIS OWN WAY…” (ISAIAH 53:6 NIV)
“ALL HAVE TURNED AWAY, THEY HAVE TOGETHER BECOME WORTHLESS; THERE IS NO ONE WHO DOES GOOD, NOT EVEN ONE.” (ROMANS 3:12 NIV)
“FOR ALL HAVE SINNED AND FALL SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD.” (ROMANS 3:23 NIV)
The Underlying Lesson:
To believe - Freedom from the Father = Happiness, liberty, a life of ease - is to believe a lie.
The Truth – Freedom from the Father = Poverty, misery, bondage.
The only true freedom is that freedom we experience in Christ.
“…IF THE SON SETS YOU FREE, YOU WILL BE FREE INDEED.” (JOHN 8:36 NIV)
STAGE 2: REPENTANCE
o Spent all of his $$
o “Friends” – nowhere to be found
o Famine hits the whole country.
Hires himself out as a farm hand.
Still trying to “go it alone.”
Circumstances of life – piling up:
• Left his Father’s house
• Squandered his inheritance
• Abandoned by his friends
• Struggling to survive a country-wide famine
• Finally… “When he came to his senses…”
People must come to the end of themselves before they “come to their senses.”
• Jonah – belly of the big fish
• Samson – tied to a millstone, grinding meal for the enemy
How about you?
Have you come to the end of yourself?
Have you “come to your senses.”
In the midst of his struggle, the rebellious son “Came to his senses.”
He realized – even his father’s servants were well-fed.
God opened his eyes to the raw reality of his situation and he said,
“I WILL SET OUT AND GO BACK TO MY FATHER AND SAY TO HIM: FATHER, I HAVE SINNED AGAINST HEAVEN AND AGAINST YOU. I AM NO LONGER WORTHY TO BE CALLED YOUR SON; MAKE ME LIKE ONE OF YOUR HIRED MEN.” (LUKE 15:18-19 NIV)
Repentance always precedes grace.
Until the rebellious son experienced the despair of his situation,
he was not ready to return to his father.
You cannot receive spiritual healing until you recognize your brokenness.
STAGE 3: RESTORATION
• The son sets off to his father’s house.
• Long trip – (a far country)
o He had time to think - What will happen?
o Will my father accept me or reject me?
Pleasantly surprised - Father ran to meet him.
“WHILE HE WAS STILL A LONG WAY OFF, HIS FATHER SAW HIM AND WAS FILLED WITH COMPASSION FOR HIM; HE RAN TO HIS SON, THREW HIS ARMS AROUND HIM AND KISSED HIM.”
The father welcomed him and then RESTORED HIM.
o Robe – A Guest of Honor
o Ring – Signified the father’s authority (like giving the son his checkbook)
o Shoes – Worn by Sons, not servants.
Parable of the Lost Son - striking difference - Christianity & other World Religions. Christianity - we are lost persons and cannot find God by ourselves.
• The parables of the lost sheep and lost coin.
• So God’s Son, J came to find us.
“FOR THE SON OF MAN CAME TO SEEK AND TO SAVE WHAT WAS LOST.” (LUKE 19:10 NIV)