Summary: 1st in a series on praying through the Lord's prayer
Opening Narrative about the “prodigal son”
Broken man - age undecernable, unkempt. stumbling and mumbling along a lonely road
“No skill, no right, but please give me a job
Flashback - Putrid smell of the farm
Previous position afforded him luxury
in-&-out of now and past
touches beard - remembers salon
touches clothes - remembers tailor
Remembers to shoes - looks at bare feet
Broken man - stumbling towards sprawling mansion
“just a job sir, just a job
spotted by workers in a forebuilding, they retreat to sound the alarm
Out sprinted a regal warrior, purple ephon pulled up to allow full strides
sandles laced up his legs, worn battle leathers in place, silver hair glinting in the sunlight
Broken man - drops to one knee, in surrender and utter hopelessness, save this job
Warrior - face to face, arms under his arms picks him up.
not to escort away, but to envelop in hug bigger that swallowed him whole
Broken man - “I have sinned against...
Warrior - lips smeared with dirt and filth as he kissed this broken man’s face
as he stares at this broken man through his own tears, the broken man finally begins this statement he has rehearsed each step of his journey
Luke 15:21 - “Father, I have sinned against God and done wrong to you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”
He feels unworthy of his birthright. I deserve NOTHING. Allow me to work for you (which was better than any other job he could find on his own)
The problem is even though the boy is willing to stop being a son, the father is not willing to stop being a father!
Tears glistening on leathered cheeks; a smile shining through a silver beard he pulls him close once again. One arm holding his boy so close that he won’t fall; the other arm holding him so close he won’t doubt.
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. Luke 15:22-24
These words must have shocked this broken man. After all, he had abandoned this father. Squandered his inheritance...
The father, on the other hand, had never given up the hope of finding his child. His child may have been out of his house, but was never out of his heart.
DO NOT MISS THIS!!!
You may be/ may have been willing to stop being God’s child, but God is not willing to stop being your Father.
Of all God’s names, Father is His favorite. We know that because he used it most. Jesus calls him that over 200. His first recorded words refer to his Father’s house (Luke 2:49) His final prayer he says, Father I give you my life (Luke 23:46). In John alone, Jesus repeats this name 156 times. And this is how he teaches us to pray: Our Father.
It was revolutionary for Jesus to refer to God in this intimate way. A commonality now was unheard of before Jesus’ time. New testament scholar, Joachim Jeremias, as quoted by John Stott, discribes how rarely this term was used.
“With the help of my assistants, I have examined the prayer literature of late Judaism... The result of this examination was, that in no place in this immense liturature is the invocation of God as “Abba, Father” to be found. Abba was an everyday word. It was a homely family-word. No Jew would have dared to address God in this manner, yet Jesus did it always in all His prayerswhich were handed down to us, with one single exception: the cry from the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus authorizes the disciples to repeat the word “Abba” after Him. He gives them a share in His sonship. He empowers His disciples to speak with their heavenly father in such a familiar and trusting way.”
For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God
When we come to Christ God not only forgives us but He adopts us.
But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5(NASB)