Summary: The Prodigal Son was hungry but he couldn’t even eat the filth of the world. His only hope was to go home. Jesus is waiting for you to come home.
SURROUNDED BY PIGS, BUT CAN’T EAT HAM
Pastor Jim May
Jesus gave us many parables during His earthly ministry. All of those parables teach some very important lessons that every one of us should learn and heed. This morning I want to speak to you about one of those parables. It’s the very familiar story of the Prodigal Son.
Luke 15:11-24, "And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."
There is no doubt that many thousands of sermons have been preached on this parable. The different points of view that can be applied are greatly varied. So much can be read “between the lines” or mined from even the simplest scriptures in God’s Word, all because every word was inspired by the Omniscient God whose thoughts are far above our own. As I read this parable again, I felt that God would have me to speak to you from it once again.
One thing that I want to point out to you in this parable is that Jesus said these two boys were both sons. They weren’t servants or strangers; they were his own flesh and blood.
When you think of it in that fashion you will inevitably come to the same conclusion that I did: that this parable has much to do with our status as born again Christians who have been adopted into the very family of God. Are you saved this morning? Do you know Jesus as your Savior and Lord? If so, then you are a child of God. You are now part of the chosen few who are blessed beyond measure because you have obtained an inheritance from your Father in Heaven.
My father went home to be with the Lord just a few months ago and because I am his son I have an inheritance from all that he obtained in his lifetime. Should the Lord tarry in his coming for the church in the rapture, I will one day take possession of that inheritance. It’s already mine. It’s already determined in the courts of the land and my portion is already waiting until the day that Jesus has determined that it shall become more than just a promise on a piece of paper and a thought in my mind. I have faith to believe that at a specific point in time, I will receive that inheritance. Until that day comes, and I’m in no hurry for that to happen, that inheritance will be waiting.
Each of you, every child of God in this sanctuary, has an inheritance waiting as well. One day soon, when Jesus comes again, you will be taken into the presence of the Righteous Judge where your inheritance will be awarded in full. When the Lord speaks those words, “Well done”, into your heart at the judgment, what joy will fill your heart!
All of us have seen or witnessed those who have come to the point in life where it is time to receive their inheritance. Sometimes it happens peacefully but most of the time it doesn’t. There is nothing in the world that will split families, cause hard feelings, and destroy sibling relationships any quicker than trying to divide an inheritance and determine which child gets what things and what portion. Families that have been strong and had very close relationships can suddenly appear to be not much better than a pack of hungry wolves, biting, barking and tearing at one another, trying to get their “fair share”. It’s sad to see those things happen. That’s when we really find out what’s in the heart of the children. No matter how much they may have loved and respected the parents, they can really have a fight over the inheritance.