Summary: This morning I want to look at the story of a young man who discovered the truth of the familiar quote, "There's no place like home." It's the familiar story of the prodigal son...but maybe from a different angle than you've heard it before.


LUKE 15:11 24

There is an old song that is still popular that says, "There's no place like home for the holidays..." With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner our thoughts often turn toward home.

For me, there are so many great memories of the times my family had during the holidays as I was growing up. We were not very well off, but there was so much love and togetherness...and excitement...

And mom was is a great cook, and baker...and there was always enough there to feed an army...and it seemed like there was always an army of people around. We had a big family...and we were very close.

After I left home, there was such a void when I was kept away during this time of year. I remember one year I spent the holidays in Spain, on a ship...and even though I was in my early 20's, and had been on my own for several years...I WAS HOMESICK.

I missed my family...and the smell of pie and cookies...and the dull roar of all the family that always seemed to gather at our house as we watched the parades, and the football games, and laughed as we told the same old stories about the funny things that happened over the years.

I can't imagine anything that would ever be able to dim the joy of those memories...but times do change...and people change...and for some, similar sentiments that once were strong...have faded into a fog. And home is just a distant, by gone memory.

This morning I want to look at the story of a young man who discovered the truth of the familiar quote, "There's no place like home." It's the familiar story of the prodigal son...but maybe from a different angle than you've heard it before.

READ 15:11 24

I think that for the most part, the young man in this story received a bum rap. He's pictured as a bold, insulting, depraved, heartbreaking rebel. I guess, from popular conception, that he rode a motorcycle, a black leather jacket, wore shades (inside and out), was fed up with the wimpy life of a farmer, and wanted to go "do his thing"

But the Bible doesn't say that. The Bible doesn't give a hint that he was a worry to his father, or that he gave his mother all her gray hair and wrinkles. In fact, if the guy had been as bad as all that and his dad gave him half of the family fortune...then dad was more of a fool that the son!

From the story, it appears that Dad had a great deal of confidence in his younger son. If you read on you'll remember that this boy wasn't the oldest...which means that he wasn't the heir...the inheritance would legally go to the oldest.

But immediately upon request, Dad divided up his property and gave the younger brother half. Now Dad must have felt that his son had some talent and at least a desire to make good. Up until that moment it appears that the guy was trustworthy, industrious, and at least worthy of the benefit of any doubt.

He was probably curious about the outside world...and there's nothing wrong with that. And I'll tell you something else. I don't think the guy ever lost his love or respect for his father at any time. That was always there...through loneliness, famine, husks, and all the disillusionment.

I think it's wrong to jump all over this young man and tear him apart. He made mistakes...ones that cost him dearly...mistakes that were almost fatal. He lost his way. But so have multitudes of smart people.

And it happens so easily. I know so many, and so do you, who were not bad people...but they wanted to be on their their own thing, be their own boss.

Instead of taking with them all the moral truths and standards they were taught they somehow became convinced that they were the exception to the rules...they could do it and it wouldn't affect them...they could handle it.

"I just want to see what it's like...I know how far I can go...I can give it up any time I want...I won't get pregnant...I won't become addicted...Hey, it's not illegal

The boy left the safety of home and found vultures, and they can pick an innocent person clean. The world is exciting, but it is a wicked place that can quickly devour "portion of goods" that you bring from a good home.

He was a young man who got trapped...who thought the very people who were using him were saints...and the further he plunged the greater he thought he was. He probably echoed the lying words of the commercial that says, "It doesn't get any better than this."

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