Summary: Today, I want to preach on the Parable of the Prodigal Son looking at it from the position of the dad.
I love the Parable of the Prodigal Son found in Luke’s Gospel. It is one of my favorite stories in the New Testament. Now, if my memory serves me correctly, I have preached this passage twice already at Bala Chitto. The first time I preached it, my focus was on the Prodigal Son. The second time I preached it, my attention was drawn to the other son. And today, Father’s Day, I want to preach this passage yet again for the third time with my interest centered now on dear old dad.
Dad is the central character of this whole parable. The whole story revolves around the dad and his constant love for both his boys. The tragedy of the story is that both boys lived their lives like that father’s love wasn’t there. The Prodigal Son saw dad only as a way to satisfy his pleasures; no love in that. And the older son saw dad as a tough task master rather than as a loving father; there is no love in that. But the truth is: dad loved his boys with all his heart; and it was a constant love that never changed despite what his sons said or did. And it is his love for his children that drives me to say that this father is an incredible dad.
Let’s read the parable and allow me to make some points:
Luke 15:11-32 (NIV)
11 Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.
12 The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So, he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.
14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.
15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.
16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'
20 So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
22 “But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.
24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So, they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
27 ‘Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.'
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So, his father went out and pleaded with him.
29 But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
31 “'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"
1. IT HAD TO HURT THE DAD WHEN HIS YOUNGEST SON ASKED FOR HIS DEATH INHERITANCE WHILE HIS DAD IS STILL LIVING; HIS DAD GAVE IT TO HIM BUT NEVER STOPPED LOVING HIS SON.
Do you know what? Children can sometimes say that the meanest things to their parents. I have heard children tell their parents that they hate them; that you are not my parents; I want nothing to do with you. But of all the mean things that can be said to a parent, this son, in our parable, has said one of the meanest things I have ever heard. You see, under Jewish law, a child was to inherit only upon the death of the father. And to ask for his inheritance before his father’s death is to basically say that you are as good as dead to me. Let me show you.