Summary: The love of God is so great to save us whenever we realizes our faults and return sincerely to Him.
THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON
Study Text: Luke 15:11-32
- This parable of the Lord Jesus was not told to entertain but to educate. And not to educate us about others, about other parents’ wayward sons, but to cut to the core of our own being. To the heart of each of us.
- To teach us about our own relationship with the heavenly Father. To teach us of Christ who came to seek the lost and to save sinners. When we carefully gaze into the parables of Jesus, we suddenly see ourselves.
- And the father is the Father in heaven who waits for us. It is Jesus Christ himself who welcomes us.
- There are three stories in this parable:
i. The story of the prodigal son who went into the far country, squandered all of his money in riotous living, & then finally came home again.
ii. The story of the father who was watching & waiting anxiously for his son to return. And when he did, he welcomed him with love, and even threw a party for him.
iii. The story of the older brother who usually goes almost unnoticed when we read this parable. He reacted negatively to his brother’s return and the undeserved reception given to him by their father.
- We shall discuss this parable under seven sub-headings:
1. The Request of the Prodigal Son
2. The Recklessness of the Prodigal Son
3. The Realization of the Prodigal Son
4. The Repentance of the Prodigal Son
5. The Return of the Prodigal Son
6. The Reception of the Prodigal Son
7. The Reaction against the Prodigal Son
1. The Request of the Prodigal Son.
- When this boy asked for his father to divide the estate, he was in effect saying, “I wish you were dead and no more say in my life! I am tired of you and I want to be free from you and your control in my life.”
- But, this father is so gracious! He could have refused and kicked the son out, but he doesn’t. He merely does what his son asks him to do and gives his boy what he asks for.
- Friend, if you want to live your life like there is no God, then He will allow you to do just that! If you want to take all that He can give you without acknowledging Him, He will let you do that too
- But, you need to know that end of such a life will be a Christless eternity! Is that what you want as the sum total of your life?
- He asks for his inheritance--an unusual, yet legal request. The fall of the prodigal son began the moment he claimed his rights; when he separated his interests from the interests of his family--and not simply when he began to live separately and recklessly, far from home.
- The desire to leave home and face the responsibilities of adulthood is perfectly natural; the restless yearning to flee responsibilities is immature.
- The prodigal son got what he wanted, but lost what he had. God’s most severe punishment may be to give us what we want. Even though the son’s actions were impulsive, the father did not stand in the way
2. The Recklessness of the Prodigal Son
- He takes his father’s grace and he squanders it by living a wicked, self-indulgent life. The words “riotous living” refer to a life totally given over to sinfulness and wickedness.
- In other words, when this boy left home, he also left behind all his moral restraints. He lived in such a way as to gratify every whim and desire of the flesh.
- Did he have a good time? Oh yes! However, notice the last phrase of that verse, “for a season”. Friends, the seasons of life change! And when they do, that which brought you pleasure at one point will bring you pain instead.
- A life lived indulging sexual sins, a life lived for fleshly pleasures, a life lived for self. All these end up in the same place! Yes, there is pleasure for a short time, but is eternity without God in Hell worth the short time spent in the pleasure of sins embrace?
- Gathering up his things, the prodigal leaves for a "far country"; a place which exists first in our hearts. Like so many of us, his happiness was conditional upon his circumstances; he was not content with his situation.
- Freedom became freedom to sin, and pleasures provided a false security. The prodigal son was eager to "see life", apart from God—yet to say, "I will have no more of God" is to say "I will have no more of life."
- The prodigal son lusted for freedom without restraints and ended up enslaving himself. When his money ran out, his so-called friends deserted him--they were only friends of his wealth.