Summary: This sermon takes a look at the story of the prodigal son from the eyes of the father. Later it reminds us of the heart of our Heavenly Father as He receives and forgives those who return home to Him. It's part of the Conversational Evangelism Series.
¥ The Pharisee’s were finding fault with Jesus because He received and ate with sinners. - "This man receives sinners and eats with them." - Lk 15:2
¥ Jesus responded with three parables: His response?
1. "The Lost Sheep" - Lk 15:3-7
2. "The Lost Coin" - Lk 15:8-10
3. "The Prodigal Son" - Lk 15:11-32
¥ While this parable is commonly referred to as “The Prodigal Son” today I want to focus our attention more on “The Father’s Heart”.
¥ All three of the parables that Jesus told, in His response to the accusations levied against Him by the Pharisee’s, had to do with the Love of the Father…
I. Expository Points - concerning the prodigal
A. He Left - Lk 15:11-13a
1. The Prodigal Son asks his father for “his portion” of the inheritance.
¥ The eldest son always got double. There were two sons so he received one third of his father’s wealth
2. This had great implications in the community for his father.
¥ Wealth was not held in community banks or wall street. Wealth was held in lands, livestock and influence. (The more wealth the more influence)
¥ Look what the father gave up! He had to sell 1/3 of his land, livestock and give up a lot of community influence in order to meet this request. (He was also giving up what all of that would have produced over the years)
¥ Think of the shame his father endured. You can’t downsize by 1/3 and people not notice. (Sold 1/3 of his livestock, lands, possessions)
B. He Lost - Lk 15:13b-19
1. He wasted his substance (that which his father had worked to acquire) on riotous living. - He could sing, “I did it my way”.
2. He lost it all and found himself in a pig pen feeding swine and desired to eat what he was feeding them.
3. He came to himself… He came to his senses by thinking of his father and even how the servants were treated.
C. He Returns - Lk 15:20-32
1. His father welcomed him home even after all of the embarrassment and downsizing he had caused. - Lk 15:20-24
2. His brother wanted nothing to do with him - Lk 15:25-32
¥ He refused to go in and see him
¥ Their father intervened. (Jesus intervened for us on Calvary)
¥ The father treated the faithful son with as much tenderness as the prodigal son.
3. The celebration that followed was focused on the fact that the prodigal was dead and was alive again, he was lost and was now found.
¥ Notice that the father restored him to his rightful place as his son but the inheritance that was squandered was never restored by the father.
¥ Sin carries it’s own price…
II. Conversational Evangelism - how to communicate the Father’s love for lost people
A. In this, the third of three parables to the condemning Pharisee’s,
1. The father is a type of God
2. The prodigal son in a type of the sinner returning to God
3. The elder brother is a type of a religious spirit that is prevalent in the church today towards lost people… - cf. Lk 15:2
B. Points to Ponder
1. God loves Sinners
4. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6. And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
The Lost Sheep - Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
The Lost Coin - Luke 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
2. God Receives and Forgives Sinners
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
22. It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
3. How should we respond to sinners returning to God? - We should offer unmerited forgiveness and love (forgiveness and love that is not deserved) to the returning sinner.
¥ The Apostle Paul addressed the difficulty of this to the Corinthian church and gives us some great things to think about.