Summary: the prodigal son

“Loving a Loser: The Prodigal Son

Luke 15:11-32


Intro: I hope this morning you have come excited about hearing what God’s word has to say to you. I honestly believe if you want to be changed this morning by what God has to say, you will find many things to apply to your life. If you have come to sit back and listen to me give a sermon, you probably won’t find anything that will change your life. You will take away what you come looking for. Having said that, let’s ask God to give us hungry hearts to feed on his word this morning.


This morning, we start a series that will lead up to Easter. In the coming weeks, we will talk about a lot of things related to the crucifixion of Christ. But this morning, we want to talk about why Jesus had to come and die. Because we were like sheep that have gone astray. In Luke 15 we find the story of the prodigal son. I like to call this loving a loser. Now, do you know any losers? And no, I don’t mean your spouse or your in-laws. Do you know anyone who really is a loser. They really don’t have their act together. We find two here in Luke 15. Let’s read the text together.

Read Text - Luke 15:11-32

We find here the story of the younger brother, the wayward son, we call him the prodigal. He is a loser. Let’s look at him and see if any of us see ourselves in his example.

I. The Wayward Prodigal

A. His Ruin

*a disrespectful plea - “my share” - he asks for his share of the inheritance. This would not be divided until the father died. It showed he was not content with the Father’s plans and the father’s control. Many times we think we know better than our heavenly father. We think our ways are better than what he has planned for us.

*a deliberate parting - “got together all he had” - this was a rejection of the father’s provision for him. He was planning on a permanent parting. He had no plans on coming back. He felt he could do far better for himself than his father could give him. He had no plans of coming back to live at home with his father.

-“distant country” - rejection of his father’s people

*a decided pleasure - “wild living” - he was living according to the desires of the flesh, with no concern for restraint, with no concern for what was right. This went contrary to the training he would have received from his father.

Prov 1 - Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction. It will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves! Such is the end of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the lives of those who get it.

--whenever we live for pleasure - those pleasures destroy our character.

*a determined process - “spent everything” - he didn’t stop until he was desperate. He didn’t heed the warning signs as he saw he was running out of money. Many times we feel we can keep right on spending. Credit cards really help feed this. Ronda & I are making a determined effort to get out of debt. When you see something is out of balance in your life, make some changes!

*a disgraceful plan - “unclean” to eat pigs - shameful to tend them - more so to eat their food

When we fall, we often find ourselves doing things we never even considered because it was so shameful or disgraceful. There is nothing that any one of us wouldn’t do out of the will of God.

*a destitute position - “no help from anyone” - often it takes getting to the bottom until we will turn to God for help.

B. His Restoration

*recognition - “to his senses” = “to himself” - he admitted to himself who he really was

How many times we like to believe something different about ourselves than is really true. We need to be willing to see ourselves as we truly are before we are capable of change.

*realization - he realized how good he had it at home

Rom. 2:4 - God’s kindness leads you towards repentance. When we think back to times when God blessed our lives in wonderful ways, it gives us a yearning to be that close to God again.

*rationalization - he saw his sin was against God and his laws. He saw his sin was against the goodness of his father. Often when we sin, we sin both against God and against others, often those who love us the most.

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