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,

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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 –

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