Summary: To bring new life to a familiar text I used several alternate endings and discussed how they would have changed the story
It is often hard to preach on familiar passages.
Hard to make it fresh.
Today’s passage is one of the most familiar of all.
But we will give it a twist
We are going to look at it from a different angle.
(((READ story from bible)))
Now we are going to play, What If?
Not a salvation story.
He was a “SON”…. born… saved.
He is prodigal… backslidden… but a son.
He needs to RETURN to the father
We read how it really happened …
now let’s look at it differently…
1. What if the son had never come to his senses?
We know he did, the scripture says, “he came to himself.”
Standing there watching the hogs eat slop and looking for something to pick out. Came to senses and said, I’d be better off as one of my father’s servants.
What if he never came to his senses and just stayed in the pigpen… feeding the pigs and feeling miserable.
2. What if the boy learned to enjoy the pig pen ?
I believe you can learn to like almost anything.
I drink diet Pepsi because I drank too much Pepsi so I decided to drink diet… HATED IT
LEARNED TO LOVE IT.
I remember the first time I tasted beer… father’s
YUCK…. Nobody likes it at first
I know people who eat collards
Must be able to learn to like anything.
What if he learned to like the smell of the pigs/mud
The taste of slop
Told Ethan Canton would smell like home.
NEVER HIT BOTTOM
3. What if he had become Boss Hog
But what if… he worked hard, worked up to pig manager… bought partnership. Bought out business… began to sell pig franchises.
HE WOULD NEVER COME HOME
Had to HIT BOTTOM
See the need
# 1 reason people pray
People come back
No need = no return
It could happen to him
It happens every day.
4. What if the son came to his senses and wanted to come home but WAS TOO PROUD ?
Drop the pretense, trash your pride and CONFESS… get down on your knees, or face… and CONFESS YOUR SIN.
He might have been to proud to face father and brother.
Happens every Sunday in every church where the word is preached…
Not a long trip… 18 inches
Not hard… downhill
But hard because our heart can be so hard.
I CANT admit my failure
Others do worse
I Can’t come in public
I Can’t give up more
Already given up much
COULD NOT go home
Only way is on knees……. Eye of the needle
5. What if the boy came home and the Father received him BUT NEVER LET HIM FORGET HIS SIN ?
What if he said, sure you can come in our house… the house you left
What if the father worked the boy’s failure into every conversation
You can eat our food, the table you decided was not good enough
You can wear the clothes…they probably are not as nice as the ones you wore to feed pigs
What if he told others… This is my son, the one who ran away to squander his inheritance and only came home when he was broke.
What if he made the boy wear a scarlet P for pig-lover.
What if he constantly told him YOU KILLED YOUR MOTHER
Maybe died of a broken heart
Thank God HE WILL NOT
Our sins are FORGIVEN AND FORGOTTEN
As far as the east from the west
Behind God’s back
6. What if the son got home and the Father had died and the brother was in charge ?
Picture the scene
Well, Well look what we have here. .. The prodigal returned… look what the dogs drug in.
Is this my brother… can’t tell for the mud
Doesn’t smell like him… smells like pig
Guess you want a bath, a bed and a meal
WELL… FORGET IT
You wasted your half and you can’t have mine.
Jonathan Edwards- Sinners in the hands of an angry God
DJ - Sinners in the hands of angry Christians
We would examine them to see if they deserved to be accepted.
Thank God this won’t happen
Our Father hasn’t died
He will receive us
Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be as white as wool
He who cometh to me I will in no wise cast our
7. What if the father had gotten together a posse and dragged the boy home against his will?
He would not stay..
He could hold the body captive but not the heart.
“I’m sitting on the outside but I’m standing on the inside.”
He had to hit bottom