Summary: This series explains the gospel in a way that challenges everyone. Have you ever thought you knew something, to find out you missed the point entirely? In Jesus’ parable we historically call "the prodigal son" only half the story is typically talked about


Part One: Why a Prodigal God - Introduction of the series…

Inspired by and parts based on Tim Kellers book “The Prodigal God”

1. Tell the story…

luke 15: 11 Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ’Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 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. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 "When he came to his senses, he said, ’How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. "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. 21 "The son said to him, ’Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 "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. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. 25 "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ’Your brother has come,’ he replied, ’and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 28 "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ’Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 31 "’My son,’ the father said, ’you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’"

2. The impact of the passage:

1st heard by Tim Keller over 30 years ago preached by Dr. Edmund P. Clarrey. He has preached it at his church and now it is in the form of a book.

You will find yourself in this story…

If looking at the gospel was like looking into a lake… this passage would be the story that lets you see all the way to the bottom… in this passage Jesus redefines lostness, sin, and the path of redemption…

In it Jesus defines the path of Christianity that is so different from religion as people knew it then… that some scholars say it is why for 200 years Rome classified Christians as atheists… because their version of God was so different they couldn’t define it in their terms…

i. Imagine early Christians talking with their neighbors…

1. Where is your temple? We don’t have one

2. Where are the sacrifices made to please your gods? We don’t make those kind of sacrifices anymore…

3. But in today’s economy, Christianity has often become a religion again based on extreme morality… but what makes it different than other religions that also advocate extreme morality, and good works?

4. That answer is in this story…

Think you know this story? Think you are not in it? Stick around the next few weeks and study it together and let God speak to you.

3. The Context of the Story: how it all fits together

a. Who is talking: Jesus

b. The entire chapter – the other stories of lost…

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