Summary: As we approach this third parable, the Lord seeks to contrast the lost with those who are not. Our tendency is to focus on the younger son in the parable, and to completely miss the elder son. Today, I hope to be the exception to that tendency.
There Were Two Brothers
INTRODUCTION: This parable is the third of a trilogy of parables. The first parable in the group was that of the shepherd and the lost sheep. This parable told of the shepherd leaving the 99 sheep and searching for the one lost sheep. The truth communicated is that God rejoices more over the salvation of the lost than those already in the kingdom. The second parable deals with a lost coin, and reveals the truth that God will go to great lengths to search for lost souls. Now, as we approach this third parable, the Lord seeks to contrast the lost with those who are not. Our tendency is to focus on the younger son in the parable, and to completely miss the elder son. Today, I hope to be the exception to that tendency.
I THE ACTIVITY OF THE YOUNGER SON – Luke 15:11-20
A The rebellious request of the younger son – 15:12
1 “Give me”
a Asking for share of the estate
b In reality, demanding independence from the Father
2 Man has sin the origin of sin had a desire to act independently of God
a The Father gives the son what he asks for
1) The son is now in full control of his life
2) Out from the control of the Father
3) Bible would call this “stiff necked”
a) Refusal to submit to God’s Control
b) Desire to have own control
B The rebellious activity of the younger son – 15:13-14
1 Notice the timing – “not long after that”
a Rapid transition time
b Long enough to gather things
c The temptation of “freedom” makes us VERY productive
d Really seeing the hidden nature of sin
1) Desire to distance ourselves from God
2) Discontent with God and his will
2 Notice the direction
a Don’t know the direction
b Just know it was far
c It was DIFFERENT from home!
1) A place where resources could be squandered
2) A place where sin could be rampant
Luke 8:14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
3) And also a place where the influence of the word of God can be chocked out!
ILLUSTRATION: On the side of the parsonage, between the house and the garage is a small area of ground that we have put a pond in. We have dressed it up to kind of be a peaceful spot. I have even attempted to grow some wildflowers there. One of the interesting things that happened is that spearmint has sprouted. In fact it is so prevalent there that it produces a significant smell of the mint itself. We like spearmint, and so we have enjoyed the aroma, that is until just recently, when we realized that the wonderful aroma we have enjoyed has come at the expense of EVERY other plant there. The spearmint has overtaken the area compel – to the point that there are no other flowers, and the pond area itself is now threatened. We never realized it, but so very slowly the spearmint chocked the rest of the flowers out!
3 Notice the duration
a Long enough that his independence permitted him to use up all of his resources.
b Long enough that the resources given to him by his Father were used unwisely and squandered.
C The problem with rebellion – Luke 15:14-16
1 Situations change
a Resources are gone – change #1
b Problems arise – change #2
2) Personal need
SIMPLY PUT EVERYTHING THE YOUNGER SON HAD BASED HIS LIFE ON COULD NOT HELP HIM NOW
Ephes. 2:12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
c Deserted and alone
1) Friends are gone
2) Friends cannot help – they are in the same predicament!
D The cure for rebellion – Luke 12:17-20
a Repentance is the beginning of sanity – it is insane to live apart from God
b Repentance is the beginning of understanding the reality of our need – We NEED God
a Accept the truth that the worst of God’s servants is happier than the person apart from God
b Accept the truth that we may claim the right of a son, yet we all serve the Father!
a Got up and left the old life
b Got up and left for the new life!
II THE ACTIVITY OF THE FATHER – Luke 15:20b-24
A The Father waited and sought out the younger son
1 God is diligent in His desire for people to repent and return to Him