Summary: Jesus is a wonderful savior as represented by the prodigal's father
“OH, WHAT A SAVIOR!”
David P. Nolte
Jesus: King of kings and Lord of lords. Virgin born Revelation of God in the form of man. Sinless High Priest. Compassionate advocate and intercessor. Savior of all who believe. And, what a Savior He is!
The text for today is one familiar to all of us. It is one that speaks of our rebellion and separation; it speaks of the Father’s willingness to allow us free-will. It manifests the bleak situation in the far country, away from home and Father. It reveals the action of repentance and restoration. It reveals the gladness of a gracious Father as contrasted with the darkness of an unloving heart. They call it “the Parable of the Prodigal Son” because of the prodigality, the wasteful squandering of resources, of that wayward young man.
“A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. "Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.” Luke 15:11-16 (NASB).
To me, the key figure is the Father. He provided the wealth; he gave the boy freedom; he kept the light of love burning; he ran to embrace the returning boy; and he provided the royal welcome. He represents our Father, our God, our Lord – our Savior! And Oh, what a Savior is mine!
He is a wonderful Savior!
I. BECAUSE HE SAVES THOSE WHO WANDER:
A. “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.'” I’ll paraphrase the implication of his request: “Hey, Dad – it doesn’t look like you are going to be kicking the bucket anytime soon, and I don’t want to wait until then to inherit, so how about divvying it up premortem?” “So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.”
B. Man! That world out there looked good to this guy.
1. But he viewed it through the eyes of immaturity and naivete.
2. His vision was clouded by false expectations of “the good life!”
3. What he thought would be the epitome of enjoyment turned out to be the depths of despair.
4. He wanted what he wanted when he wanted it which was “Now!” The starry-eyed son wandered from home in pursuit of freedom, fun, food, and the “fantastic life!” Well, that was his plan, but as Solomon said, “Mortals make elaborate plans, but God has the last word.” Proverbs 16:1 (MSG).
C. Why didn’t the father stop him or argue with him or deny his request?
1. From the beginning in Eden God gave humankind the right to choose to obey or to disobey.
2. The father rightly surmised that the consequences would be harsh and a better lesson than a lecture.
3. Besides, we are not robots with no senses. The result is that we might make very poor choices and create our own dilemma. We wander wherever our whimsy leads and then we find ourselves in the far country being a pig’s maitre d’.
D. Like that boy, we wander into the far country when
1. we neglect our devotional time..
2. we fall in love with this world.
3. we allow the ungodly to influence us.
4. we allow fear or favor to draw us away from the Lord and we take our eyes off of Jesus.
5. As Solomon said, “Because you hated Knowledge and had nothing to do with the Fear-of-God, Because you wouldn't take my advice and brushed aside all my offers to train you, Well, you've made your bed—now lie in it; you wanted your own way—now, how do you like it?” Proverbs 1:29-31 (MSG).
6. Then, when we wander off the right path to our own destination, and when things foul up, who gets the blame? Solomon said, “People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?” Proverbs 19:3 (MSG).
E. An ancient Scottish legend illustrates the peril of wandering away and forgetting the best things. A shepherd boy was tending a few sheep on the side of a mountain. One day he wandered from the flock and came to a huge cave. There was a door to the cave and it was closed. And as he was looking around, he noticed a very beautiful flower.