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Going Home From The Far Country

The Prodigal Son  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Power of Choices

How Do We Get To The Far Country?

Luke 15:12 NRSV
The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them.
Luke 15:12-
He ends up in the far country by disrespecting his father because of his premature desire for fortunes.
A. He ends up in the far country by disrespecting his father because of his premature desire for riches.

Life In The Far Country

Luke 15:13–16 NRSV
A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. When he had spent everything, a severe famine took place throughout that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He would gladly have filled himself with the pods that the pigs were eating; and no one gave him anything.
:13-
A. He lost his fortunes.
B. He experienced a famine.
Transition: He ends up working for a farmer and even the pigs lunch starts to look appealing to him.

The Journey Home

I. He Came To Himself

Luke
Luke 15:17–19 NRSV
But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired hands have bread enough and to spare, but here I am dying of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands.” ’
A. In coming to himself, there was transformation.
Part of changing where he was starting by changing. He ends up in this unfortunate season of his life because he was ridiculous in his speech. It was crazy and down right disrespectful for him to ask for his inheritance prematurely, essentially saying to his father “I wish you were dead.” He could not have done that where my father lives because there would have been some body stretching and belt swinging before this conversation was over. Rather than giving him the discipline he deserved, he accomodates the son’s ridiculous and foolish request. Though it’s somewhat exegetical unethical to impose my beliefs on the text, I believe that the father did this to teach this son a lesson. Life in the far country was not as favorable to him as he thought it would be so now he has to make some changes. Change first started with himself. “AND HE CAME TO HIMSELF...” I love this turn here because he brings me back to my focus here. It was a choice that drove him away from home but it was also choice that turns him around.
B. In coming to himself, there was conversation.
One preacher once taught me that the work that I do is a contact sport so I kept that in mind when navigating through this narrative. By talking to himself, he was able to think through what he was going to do next. He did not have the luxury of a notes section in his Iphone to write it out. He didn’t even have the option of recording a memo about it. Since he was out there working for the farmer, it’s a wonder that he didn’t try to talk out his plan with the pigs. Some times, our turn begins not with talking to others but it is by having a conversation with ourselves. How am I going to make this right? In this conversation with himself, he maps out the conversation that he was planning to have with his father.
In this conversation with himself, he maps out the conversation that he was planning to have with his father.
C. In coming to himself, there was revelation.
In this moment of strategic planning, some things begin to become clear to him. He first recalled his privilege. “How many of my father’s servants have bread enough to spare but he I am dying of hunger.”
You know you come from the house of a baller when even the laborers have left overs. We’re not talking about his daddy or his older brother but the servants have bread enough to spare.
Maybe he realized that Daddy’s house wasn’t so bad after all.
Maybe he realized that come home before midnight is a possible feat now.
Maybe, just maybe he realized that following Daddy’s rule is a bit more doable now if it means that he could eat what and when he wanted to.
It’s easy to criticize this young man by saying you shouldn’t have to lose all you have to realize all you had but I would contend today that some times, it does take all of that. I don’t know about you today but it is my belief that some times you have to hit rock bottom to appreciate the rock that’s holding you up at the bottom.
In recalling his privilege, he also recognizes his ruin. “For I will get up and go to my father and say Father I have sinned against heaven and against you.”
Sin- violating divine law.
Honor your father and mother so that your days may be long.
By behaving the way he did, he did not honor God and he surely did not honor his father.
This wayward son recognized the error of his ways and turns towards home.
Every turn around first begins with a change. We make changes within ourselves after coming to grips with the consequences of our choices.
Just as our bad choices can drive us away from the father, our better choices can get us back to the father.

II. He Went To His Father

Luke 15:20–21 NRSV
So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
Luke 15:23–24 NRSV
And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.
,
A. On his way home, he experienced his father’s compassion.
This passage has taught me a lot about the intentionality of reading scripture. For years, I’ve read and even preached this passage with the idea that things got better WHEN he got home. I have to go back and apologize to everyone who heard that because in a minimal sense, I missed the mark.
The one phrase that puts everything in it’s property place and perspective is “And while he was a still afar off...” He didn’t have to get all the way home to see that Daddy still loved and cared about him. He was able to experience the father’s love when he started moving in the right direction.
(Have a good day Azle, May the Lord Bless You Real Good) (Short/Alternate Ending) When make the conscious effort to turn in the right direction, we will begin to see the father still loves and cares about us.
The father sees his baby boy who has been out in the world and runs out to meet him, not to fuss and criticize but to show Daddy’s baby some love. I can only imagine how this daddy felt.
The son makes good on his repentance and the father decides to throw a party because this son who was lost has now been found.
His wife s
I used to tell the church where I pastored that heaven rejoices whenever a child of God comes back home and I still believe that like I believe in Jesus.
I’m not much of a singer but if I was this young man and had the opportunity to give remarks at the party that my loving father through for me, these words would have come to mind:
I've heard a thousand stories of what they think you're like But I've heard the tender whispers of love in the dead of night And you tell me that you're pleased And that I'm never alone
You're a good good father It's who you are, it's who you are, it's who you are And I'm loved by you It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am
Whenever you are in life, regardless of the choices you have made, you can get home from the far country.
B. On his way home, he expressed his conviction.
C. When he got home, there was a great celebration.
Why are we celebration? (Lost but found)

A Change of Heart Resulted in A Change Of Appearance.

Luke 15:22 NRSV
But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
A. He recieved a new robe.
B. He recieved a new ring.
C. He recieved new shoes.

What Does It Mean For Us Today?

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