Summary: The wayward son reveals a side of God’s character . . . His love.
THE PRODIGAL SON
A. INTRODUCTION: IT’S ABOUT THE FATHER, NOT ABOUT THE SON.
1. The wayward son reveals a side of God’s character which most people don’t know, i.e., His love.
2. The Father’s love does not depend on how good you are or what you do.
3. The Father’s love for all of us never changes.
“And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living” (Luke 15:11-13).
B. WHEN YOU GET EVERYTHING YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED.
The young boy finally got everything he always wanted.
1. To get away from his father’s control.
2. To have everything he’s longed to get.
3. To be in charge of his life.
4. To live where there are no rules and no regulations.
5. To party all the time.
6. To have complete freedom.
I imagine the young man didn’t walk down the road from his father’s farm, he literally ran away from everything that was “restrictive” to him. He was running towards a new freedom that he had wanted all along. He was running towards a life of fun, parties, booze and women. There was no stopping him now.
I imagine the young man was good looking, was rich, and had a lot of friends. There was music playing all the time, the wine was flowing freely; and don’t forget the money was flowing just as freely. The Bible describes this as a wild spending spree.
Why is it that what we can’t have, is what we always want. Even little kids don’t want their mommies to tell them what to wear, what to do and where to go.
A little girl was told the story of the Prodigal Son in Sunday school. Then she was asked the question, “What does it mean to waste all your substance with riotous living?” The little girl answered, “To spend everything you got on bubble gum.”
C. LIFE IS MORE THAN MONEY.
The young man had great fun while the money lasted. There were new friends, pretty girls, and something to do all the time. But the young man was in for a shock, something he didn’t expect would happen soon; probably he didn’t expect it at all. Notice the three things that hit him hard:
· His money ran out.
· A mighty famine.
· He was hungry.
When a young man is rich, good-looking and prosperous, he has all the friends he can buy drinks for. Why is it “there’s never a shortage of friends to help you spend your money?” But you need to ask yourself the question, “Are the people that spend your money, really your friends?” Remember, a true friend loves you whether you have money or not.
Life is very different for the poor of this world. The so-called “friends” don’t come around poor people. When you get in trouble, the people who used to “party” with you don’t come around. Who usually comes around when you’re broke . . . no car . . . no house . . . and you’re sick? I’ll tell you who comes around, the church of Jesus Christ; they’re always willing to help.
Let’s look at the trouble that this young man is in:
· He’s a foreigner in a strange land.
· He’s bankrupt.
· He has no friends or relatives nearby.
· No government handouts.
· He’s lonesome.
· He’s hungry.
Many young people today are “picky” when it comes to jobs. They don’t want to get up too early . . . work too hard . . . work too long . . . or wear certain clothing. I have heard of young men who turn down jobs just because their employer wouldn’t allow them to wear an earring. I’ve heard of young people who have turned down jobs because they don’t want to wear the company’s uniform. And we have heard of young people who have turned down jobs because of no perks, i.e., no health insurance . . . dental insurance . . . maternity leave . . . or enough vacation time.
When this young man was bankrupt, why did he take the only job he could find? Because he was hungry. Even the job of feeding the pigs didn’t bring in enough money to put food on the table. He was feeding the pigs, and decided to eat the pig’s food. Now how do we describe the man?
· Miserable. “And no man gave unto him.”
Let’s ask ourselves the question if he went around to his former friends, those whom he spent time with in the nightclubs, do you think they would help him? Apparently not! What about the young women whom he went to see? Did they help him? Apparently not! He spent his money buying meals and drinks for others. Did they spend their money buying him a meal? No!