Summary: This sermon focuses on the many "second chances" God gives us.
Reference: No Wonder They Call Him The Savior, Max Lucado
a. What does it mean to be given a second chance?
b. Do you recall having asked for, and received, second chances as a child? As an adult?
c. Read: Thomas A. Edison was working on a crazy contraption called a "light bulb" and it took a whole team of men 24 straight hours to put just one together. The story goes that when Edison was finished with one light bulb, he gave it to a young boy helper, who nervously carried it up the stairs. Step by step he cautiously watched his hands, obviously frightened of dropping such a priceless piece of work. You’ve probably guessed what happened by now; the poor young fellow dropped the bulb at the top of the stairs. It took the entire team of men twenty-four more hours to make another bulb. Finally, tired and ready for a break, Edison was ready to have his bulb carried up the stairs. He gave it to the same young boy who dropped the first one. That’s true forgiveness.
d. Our life as a Christian is the direct result of being given a second chance. Possibly, even probably, a 3rd, 4th, 5th, and so on chance.
a. Revisit the story of Jesus being taken captive and Peter’s denial of knowledge of Christ.
b. Emphasize the significance of Peter’s relationship with Christ and with God—God revealed to Peter that Christ was His son (Mat. 16:17).
c. Focus is on verse 7, AND PETER.
d. Despite Peter’s denial, he is still part of the plan.
a. This “story” is an allegory, a moralizing story.
b. The younger son requested an unusual thing when he asked for his share of the estate. It was usually not given to the heirs until the father could no longer manage it well.
c. The father acquiesced to the son’s request and gave him his share of the inheritance and the son went and squandered it in wild living, much like we have done with our lives in the past when chose to life a life apart from Christ.
d. Those listening to this story would immediately have begun to understand this story
(1) Jesus had been criticized for associating with sinners.
(2) The sinners were considered people who were far away from God, squandering their lives in riotous living.
e. A famine occurred and the second son ran out of money so that he had to work for a foreigner feeding pigs, something detestable to a Jew.
(1) In his hunger he longed for the pods—the food he fed the pigs. As a Jew, he could have stooped no lower.
(2) In this low condition, he came to his senses. He decided to go back to his father and work for him.
(3) Just as when we can go no lower, we recognize we need to be with the Father and restore our lives and our relationship with Him.
f. The third section of the parable describes the father’s response.
(1) He had been waiting for his son to return—just as God waits patiently for us to turn to him.