Summary: Today’s scripture lesson comes from the Gospel of Luke. We will be looking at the story of The Lost Son. This is one of many stories that Jesus told on his way to Jerusalem. Jesus used these short stories to teach the people of the day import lessons a
God’s Lost and Found
Today’s scripture lesson comes from the Gospel of Luke. We will be looking at the story of The Lost Son. This is one of many stories that Jesus told on his way to Jerusalem. Jesus used these short stories to teach the people of the day import lessons about Christian life, and we can still learn from them today. Open your Bibles to Luke Chapter 15, and we will read verses 11 through 32. Luke 15: 11-32
This story starts off in verse 11 giving us the cast of main characters. Lets start with the man, or the father; the father here is meant to depict God, the Father of all of us. The younger of his two sons represents a sinner who has found or returned to the Father. The elder son is set as a representation of the scribes and Pharisees of the day. Now that the cast is set lets take a look at the story.
The younger of his son goes and asks his father for his portion of his inheritance. The custom of the day was that at death a person’s estate or property would be split between his sons. In this case with two sons the elder son would get two thirds of the estate and the younger son or second son would get one third. Now sometimes a father would distribute his estate early so that he could retire, but that was an uncommon happening. So, the younger son goes and says, “hay dad can I get my portion of your estate now?” The father does this for his sons; he gives them each their portion of his estate. Now these are some lucky kids right? I mean they are young, now they have property, they can earn a comfortable living for themselves, well the older son does just that, but the younger son has his own ideas…
Now the younger son wastes no time, he gathers his belongings, sells his property, and heads off to Vegas… Not quite, but verse 13 says that he “gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.” The young son has left his father, and his father’s rules to go do his own thing.
Now lets stop for a minute and talk about the action so far. This young son has come into some money, and he is blowing it. This sounds like a familiar story so far, our Father, God gives to us each and every day. Do we use what we are given to honor Him, to glorify Him, or do we say “Thanks God, this is great, and go off and do our own thing.” I will be the first to stand up and say that the Lord has blessed me with much, and not so much has been used to his glory so far. So why do we do this, why do we stray from God; separate ourselves from God, our Father? The answer is pretty simple: Adam, Eve, a garden and a snake, I’m sure that you all remember the story. Our human sin nature separates us from God. It is not all that different than the separation of the young son from his father. When we are with God He protects us from sin, and He provides for our every need, but when we are separated from God we are on our own, which is where the younger son is now.
We catch up with the younger son in verse 14 in the far country, living life to its fullest, parties, women, what more could he ask for? All is well until the bottom falls out of the market in this country, and a famine takes over the land. Now guess what; it just so happens the young son runs out of money about the same time. Too bad for him, his money is all gone, all of his new “friends” split, and now there is no food to eat. What is a young man to do?
The young son decides he needs to find a job. Verse 15 says that, “he joined himself to a citizen of that country.” Meaning he was probably hired as a servant, or laborer for this individual. The task or job that he was given was to go out into the fields and feed the pigs.
Now lets stop and have a reality check here. What is the one thing that devout Jewish people can’t eat or even touch? If you guessed pork, you would be right. Mosaic Law says that pigs are unclean animals, so because of this Jewish people will not eat or even touch a pig or pork. There is another problem for the young son. While he is feeding the pigs the only thing he has to eat was what was left that the pigs wouldn’t eat. Depending on which translation of the Bible that you have, he was either eating the husks from corn, or the pods from beans, either way it wasn’t good. Now, for a Jewish person in this time period to be stuck feeding pigs, well, it must have been a very humbling experience. It was then that he realized that even his father’s servants had it better than this!