Summary: We have to understand that each one of us has lived in hopelessness and despair But because we have a loving, and compassionate Father, We can have hope,
In the Gospel according to Luke,
• We find one of the greatest short stories that can be found in the Bible!
• And the story I am referring to is the parable of "The Prodigal Son,"
• It’s one of the first stories we hear, as children, in Sunday School.
And As adults, we have heard this text preached on many occasions in our lives!
• One thing we learn early on is that
• Jesus had a unique way of making a point by the use of parables!
• He would use His earthly surroundings and recognizable human circumstances and predicaments
• To illustrate the Truth that would set us free!
• What we see is that the parable of "The Prodigal Son," is the final story – in a trilogy of parables!
• And it’s only recorded only in the Gospel of Luke -
• Now this trilogy was developed out of a definite need and a definite set of circumstances –
• And that need and circumstance was Dealing with the issue of being lost and then found!
• This is what links the two (2) previous parables to this parable!
The first parable in the trilogy is the parable of "The Lost Sheep.
• Let me remind you of what is happening here.
• A shepherd had one hundred sheep.
• He took them out of the fold to graze in the pasture.
• And when He returned to the fold, he counted the sheep
• And found out that one of the sheep was missing.
• So Immediately, he left the "ninety and nine" to search for the one sheep that had gone missing.
• After a short while, he found the lost sheep and he carried it back on his shoulders to the fold.
• Rejoicing over his success, he called for his friends and neighbors to come and rejoice with him.
• Jesus, sums this parable up by pointing out that t
• We can experience the same kind of joy that the shepherd did
• Because we know that Heaven itself rejoices over one sinner who repents and comes back home –
• More than "ninety and nine" just persons, which need no repentance."
The second parable in the trilogy tells about "The Lost Coin."
• To revue A woman had ten (10) pieces of silver – 10 silver coins!
• And She discovered that she had lost one of these coins.
• So, she turned her house upside down - she swept every corner –
• Until she found the lost coin.
• When she found it, she called for her friends and neighbors to come and rejoice with her.
• Jesus, the Christ, sums this parable up by pointing out
• That there is joy in the presence of the Angels of Almighty God over one sinner who is lost; and, then, is found!
So here in the third and final parable, of the trilogy,
• We see the parable of "The Prodigal Son
• And it is impossible to detangle it from the previous 2
• It is concerned with the human condition with regard to the prodigal son –
• The son who was lost; and, then was found!
• Now personally I believe that both sons were lost; but, that is another story for another time!
Let’s examine this parable,
• A certain man had two (2) sons.
• The youngest son asked his father for his rightful portion of his inheritance.
• But He was impatient - he was unwilling to wait until his father died –
• He wanted his share; and, he wanted it now!
• The father granted his youngest son’s request;
• And, according to Jewish law, he divided his estate in this fashion:
• Two-thirds went to the eldest son
• And one-third to the youngest son!
• And after receiving his share The youngest son ran away from home!
• He went off to a far country and spent his money having a good time,
• Carousing, Partying; and, Engaging in riotous living!
• As long as he was spending money,
• As long as he was playing the role of "Mr. Big Shot,"
• As long as he seemed to be "King of the Hill,"
• He had plenty of friends!
• But the truth of the matter is in life
• You will always have plenty of people around you when you are spending money on them –
• They will smile in your face –
• They will tell you how great you are –
• But, when the money runs out - they run out with it!
• It’s like my father always told me, "Friends are a dime a dozen!"
In our parable, the money ran out - it disappeared –