Summary: The loving Father extends love, forgiveness and grace. Those who have erred, failed and fallen, needs our love and help.
I wish all fathers a blessed Father’s Day. God bless you.
• Jesus uses this parable to describe the love of God, our heavenly Father.
Jesus tells us 3 parables in a row in this chapter, to tell us who God is like.
• Why did He do this? 15:1-3 explains.
• The Pharisees and the teachers of the law felt that Jesus should not ‘welcome sinners’, ought not to accept them.
• Good people and bad people don’t go together. Jesus wants them to know, God loves the world, everyone.
• Jesus gets near to them because sinners need help. In fact, all of them need help. Unfortunately they are self-righteous.
They don’t realise it. We are all sinners in need of God’s forgiveness and grace.
• God loves sinners. Jesus came with this purpose, to save sinners from their sin. Jesus says, "I have come to seek and save the lost."
• The sick will need a doctor. We all need God’s help. And that includes the Pharisees and teachers of the law.
• They don’t understand. They thought by doing good deeds, God will accept them. Eph 2:8 says we need God’s grace to be saved – cannot rely upon self, upon good works.
• They did not see this. In fact, many in our world today are not seeing this.
So Jesus shared with them 3 parables in a row, in chapter 15.
• All 3 talks about something that was LOST. The first is the lost sheep, then the lost coin and the lost son.
• They are all precious, but they are lost. The owner wants to get them back. He did not give up on them.
All 3 have the same theme – (1) there is value in that which is lost; (2) the Lord is seeking the lost, and longing to find it, and (3) there is joy in finding it.
• We want to see the value of the LOST, and the love of the OWNER.
(1) God treasures us - we are PRECIOUS in God’s sight
The father longs for the son to return home.
• Even though the son has done wrong, he was disrespectful, he has failed, he has spent his inheritance, and has ignored his father’s love, but the father’s attitude towards him did not change.
• The father’s love for him remains the same. We see the father waiting for his son’s return – 15:20 "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
• To see him afar means he has been looking. He is waiting. His heart wasn’t at home, but with his lost son.
When he is afar off, the father saw him and could not even wait for him to reach the house. He ran to him.
• In contrast, the elder brother doesn’t even know his brother came home. He has to ask one of the servants.
• The father ran to him and embraced him. The son came back most likely dirty and smelly, having spent time with the pigs. Yet he embraced and kissed him.
• Two different hearts here – the father’s heart is one of love. The elder brother is one filled with envy and anger.
• The father’s heart has not changed – before he left home and now that he returned – he is still the loving father. The son’s behaviour did not change him; time did not change him.