Summary: There is are tremendous lessons about extending grace to those who are undeserving of grace within this story. This sermon focuses on the story of the prodigal son and examines the different portions of the story and how grace is the key.
Sermon: The Prodigal Son - The Journey to Redemption
1The parable of the Prodigal Son
a. It is one of our favorite parables…why?
i. Because we can relate to it so much better than the other parables
ii. It has the timeless story that is repeated again and again throughout cultures and history…
- A son leaving home rebellious and demanding
- A son returning humble and penitent.
- A father who accepts him so joyously and with love
We are going to look at the first part of the parable commonly called ‘The Prodigal Son’ and see some amazing lessons about grace.
1) Luke 15:11-24 (Read the parable up to the point of the elder son’s entrance into the story)
2) The Departure
a. The Inheritance
i. Elder son – 2/3rds under Jewish Law
ii. The inheritance was typically given when the father had died.
- The son was in essence telling the father; “I wish you were dead”
- When people reject God often times it is with distain, anger, and open rebellion.
b. The Father Didn’t Oppose the Son’s Decision
i. It was almost as if the father knew he could not talk him out of his decision.
ii. The father seemed to know the son was going to have to learn from the consequences of his decisions.
iii. God’s ultimate plan is for our eternal salvation…and He will allow us to figure out things in whatever way we chose.
c. The Son Took a Few Days Before he Left
i. It was as if the son was contemplating what to do.
ii. Sometimes it is a slow fade as we deliberately contemplate leaving the table of our Father.
d. The son took EVERYTHING:
i. He didn’t want to leave anything that might be an anchor to bring him home.
e. The son Went to a Distant Land:
i. Didn’t want ANYTHING to do with his father and his father’s country. Almost as if it was open rebellion. Very similar to those of us who decide to do things our way. We try to distance ourselves from anything that reminds us of God. We try to run away as far as we can.
ii. Running away from the GUILT
3) The Consequences
a. The Son’s Open Rebellion
i. He let it all hang out. He held onto NOTHING he had been taught
b. The Unanticipated Consequences
i. The famine – He didn’t count on that.
- He may have even been reasoning that he could always get a job and work in the good economy.
- Didn’t plan on the famine’s consequences
ii. The Disintegration of His ‘Support Structure’
- Where were those who were his friends before?
- People often run to those who agree with their sin but in the end it is just them and God.
c. The Desperation
i. Even though he was desperate he still tried to find his own solution.
- Can You Relate: Can anyone here relate to that desperation?
- We often hang onto our own path out of embarrassment, pride, or stubbornnesss.
- Just because consequences begin to hit someone doesn’t always mean they are ready to repent and seek God.
- We have to be patient with those who are not quite yet to that point.
4) The Redemption
a. Began with the pigs
i. The first step to redemption is coming to grips with the reality of our sin.
ii. The consequences of his sin were still up front and personal to him, even though he had regretted his decision
b. The Journey Home
i. Long: He was in a distant land and had to walk home. It must have been a long journey…days if not weeks.
ii. No in Good Physical Condition: He was undoubtedly not in good condition to make that journey:
- Completely broken
iii. Often true repentance comes only after someone is completely broken down.
c. The father was anticipating his return
i. The father was always watching for his return.
ii. This is a beautiful picture of our heavenly Father’s love for us…he is ALWAYS waiting for us to return to him
iii. II Peter 3:9 – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
d. The Father’s Response
i. Kissed Him
- This verb literally means to kiss multiple times - He kissed his FACE OFF
ii. Didn’t Rebuke Him
- The son wasn’t treated with reproach and punishment…he was treated with unconditional love and acceptance.
- BEFORE THE FATHER KNEW IF HIS SON WAS REPENTANT!!
iii. He didn’t allow his son to finish his entire rehearsed speech.
- He just had to hear the first part and that was all he needed to hear.