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Summary: An exposition of the story of the Prodigal Son

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The heart of The Father

This morning I want us to consider the well

known parable of the prodigal son.

It’s the story about a younger son who leaves his father behind

An older son who didn’t understand what

relationship to the father is all about.

And the focus of the story is on the great and

gracious love of the father

There are seven aspects to the message this

morning and they all begin with the letter R

Rebellion, Recklessness, Reflection,

Repentance, Reconciliation, Reaction,

Relevance

Although the main focus of the Prodigal Son parable

is the ungracious brother, the assumptions made

about the Prodigal’s father are enlightening.

We can make some assumptions about the

background of the Father to the Prodigal Son.

It seems he had worked hard and saved money.

Maybe the world would be a better place if more

men had that attitude today.

Sadly, there are many men who seem to have no

desire to provide for or protect their families.

We can assume this Father had trained his sons as

most Jewish men did.

This father was probably a man who wanted his

children to walk with God.

He had probably trained his sons in the Hebrew

Scriptures, prayer, and godly living,

And he would have been active in their practical

training as well.

He would have probably hoped that his children had

learned good things from him.

Yet right at the beginning of the story of the

Prodigal Son we see Rebellion, in Luke 15:11-12

Jesus said:

REBELLION

Jesus said: “There was a man who had two

sons. The younger one said to his father,

’Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So

he divided his property between them.” (Luke.

15:11-12)

When the younger son asked for his share of his

father’s estate, his request was legal according to

Old Testament law but it was a Rebellious request.

Old Testament law stated that the younger son

was entitled to 1/3 of his father’s estate and it was

acceptable for a man to divide his estate among his

heirs while still alive.

But it was rebellious because the son was basically

saying: “Father, I wish you were dead! I’m tired of

you and I want to be free from your control over

my life.”

The younger son’s attitude was marked by

sinfulness and selfishness - he had decided he

knew more about how to live his life than his father

did.

When you were young maybe you thought you

knew better than your parents... Maybe your

children and grand children think they know better

than you... Nothing changes over the years does it?

Yet, the father in this parable shows love and grace

by allowing his son to choose his own path and he

gives his son the required portion of his own life’s

work

It seems like the younger son wanted what his

father could give him but did not want his father.

People who refuse to place their faith in God,

the people who refuse to give their life over to the

Lordship of Jesus Christ, are living their lives in

exactly the same way.

Even the people who call themselves Christians yet

ignore God until they want something are living in

rebellion.

They may pray, “Father God Give me!” But they

only want what Father God can give them - they do

not want Him.

May we never live or behave with Rebellion towards

our loving Father God.

RECKLESSNESS

Let’s look at verse 13. Luke. 15:13 – “Not long

after that, the younger son got together all

he had, set off for a distant country and there

squandered his wealth in wild living.”

“Distant country” that can represent any place

we’ve tried to go to get away from God.

If a modern psychologist analysed this parable,

he might say that the Prodigal left home because

his father oppressed him, or that he was sheltered

from life by his overly-protective mother and the

poor financial prospects in a profit-driven society.

Or blame could be focussed on the government

who should have provided more facilities to occupy

troubled teenagers.

Others might argue that the Rabbis were not strict

enough, or because the boy was forced to go the

Synagogue every Saturday he was now rebelling.

Have you noticed how often people try and

blame others for the choices they make?

People try to avoid personal responsibility.

A person does something wrong and then defends

themself by blaming other people for their own

actions.

The parable says the son squandered his wealth.

The son, despite his father’s goodness made a

choice about how he would live his life.

It was a bad choice, but it was his choice, it is that

simple.

And that is still what happens today.

We each have free will.

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