Summary: Parents don't have to be crippled with guilt over a wayward child.
St. Luke 15: 11-24
The story here is a familiar one to all church goers and bible readers. In many ways I feel unqualified to
preach concerning the subject that God has spoken to me about. My children are all still at home and they
are all saved. That does not make me a superior parent. It just means they made a good choice concerning
their eternity. Not a bad father just a bad son.
In looking at the story Jesus related to the Disciples, several things stand out to me. This appears to be a
normal, hard working, and loving family. The father is not at fault. He is not cited for wrongdoing. The
young son, for whatever reason, made a decision that led him to failure, broke his fathers heart, and
scarred his life forever.
So many wonderful people feel like they have failed in some way because of their children's sins and
wanderings. The verse in Proverbs 22:6 was not a promise that all our children would be saved. It only
promised the seed of truth would stay in them.
The Son did three things that I want to look at;
1. Went. Verse 13 tells us how he gathered up all that he had and took his journey to a “far”
country. He wasn't at the neighbors or just across town.
2. Wasted. No worthwhile investments or worthy expenditures did this son make. He just wasted his
money. (carelessly and with no purpose)
3. Wanted. Verse 14 tells us how his spending and loose living ended for him. He began to be in
want. The road of sin may hold light and glitter for a span but Bro. Neil Bridges said it always
ends up in poverty in some manner.
Now hungry, destitute, and alone this young man begins to come to terms with the full payment for the
sins and carelessness of his life. Verse 17 in the key to everything in the story that happens afterwards. He
came to himself! The famine did not change, the failure did not change, the father did not change.... The
son changed! Far away the father was waiting and watching and praying for the wayward son and God
reached into the far country and brought him to his senses.
The Father also did three important things:
1. Waited. Jesus instructed the Disciples in Luke 19:13 to “Occupy until he comes”. This literally
means to busy yourself. I believe the father fed the calf daily until the son returned.
2. Watched. Verse 20 shows us that the father was watching. “While he was a great way off the
father saw him” This faithful father was keeping a close eye on the road that led to the far
3. Welcomed. The father greets him with love and compassion. There is no rebuke nor reservation.
Verse 22 begins with the response to the young sons confession....BUT the father said!! What a
glorious picture of our heavenly father! We had sinned BUT the father said!
We must take care to notice the wording of the Holy Writ. The father instructs the servant to kill “THE”
fatted calf. Not “a” calf. He knows there is a specific calf that the father has ready for this moment he has
awaited with prayerful expectation. He also gives instruction to bring a robe and also a ring.
We should take special notice that this son left the fathers house well fed and fit as a fiddle. His robe was
probably tailor made to fit him perfectly. (Eddie Peach song “I believe I'll go back home”) After the
famine and the failure this young man would not have been the same size as he was when he left. The
robe would either have to be tailored or they would have to be patient until it fit correctly again. When
our loved ones return from their journey to the far country of sin, we will have to be willing to work
with some issues and be patient.
Numbers 17 gives the account of Moses instruction concerning the rods of each household. They took
broken branches and laid them before God in a dark empty tabernacle. No light, no water, no nutrients, no
root. These branches were ripped from their parts and should have withered and died. A miraculous thing
takes place in a twelve hour period. That rod of Aaron budded, bloomed, blossomed, and brought forth. It
did not just have an almod but it had boughs of them!! It continued to bring forth every year inside that
little Ark of the Covenant. Your loved one may be broken but they can bring forth again! Job 14: 7-9
Don't let the devil plague your mind with depression and doubts about your efforts as a parent. That
wayward loved one may be drifting farther and farther from what is right but keep occupying until they
come back. You are not a failuer! Keep the robe ready and the calf fed!! Keep pleading the case to God in
faith and watch that long road to the far country.