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Parables (11)

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Jesus is seeking to save the lost.

Main point: Jesus is seeking to save the lost.
Transition: Make some observations concerning the main characters in this parable that help us understand this point.

prodigal

■ adjective

1 wastefully extravagant.

2 lavish.

The Younger Son

Proves to be a prodigal by being extravagant with his father’s inheritance.
Whereas the lost sheep possibly wondered off in ignorance, and the lost coin has no awareness whatsoever that it is even lost, the younger son intentionally rebels against his father and blew his inheritance through loose living.
The way he does this is by asking, squandering, and then realizing what he has lost.
First he asks his father for his inheritance which would have been quite a slap in the face at this point in time. Basically, he is telling his dad that I want your money more than I want you. Actually, I wish you were dead. Some of us can relate with this kind of attitude. It the pride of rebellion that bristles up at any form of authority and makes demands that we never have any right to ask for. Its the attitude that would rather go an learn things the hard way rather than to submit to someone else’s authority. Its the spit in the face rebellion that gathers up our belonging and stomps off to blaze our own trail of selfish glory. Perhaps you can relate?
Not only that, but Jesus thickens the plot of the story by telling the sons squandering of the estate in loose living. From afar we can see where this young man is headed. It is blatantly obvious to us that his squandering is going to end in destruction. However, the young man could only see his immediate situation. And what he saw was that he had a pocket full of cash and plenty of ways to spend it. Jesus is not giving principles on long term financial planning here. No, rather He is showing compassion to those tax collectors and sinners who had crowded around Him. He’s plainly showing how the reason they are surrounding Him now is much like a young son who foolishly have thrown away an inheritance but are about to realize what they are lost!
In verses 17-19 Jesus describes the inner dialogue of this young brother after he comes to his senses. The boy proves to be a prodigal by realizing what he has lost. So he determines to be reunited with his father as a save rather than a son. It is a gracious invitation of God for a person to realize their lostness. It is an effectual calling of Christ for a person to feel the weight of despair and separation from the Heavenly Father. As many of us have, when we realize the extent of our sinful depravity we feel as though we should not deserve to be called a child of God. We think that we are not worthy of being a son or daughter of God. And that is good news for us because then we are ready tho trust totally in the worth of Jesus Christ. Then we are prepared to repent of our sin and by faith surrender ourselves to Christ alone as the one who took all that we deserve and made our adoption as children of God possible. Have you come to that place today?
Transition: We’ve made some observations concerning the younger son, now lets take a look at the older son.

The Older Son

Proves to be a prodigal by being extravagant with his father’s inheritance.
The way he does this is by assuming, hoarding, and not realizing what he has gained.
He extravagantly assumes that he has obeyed everything his Father has asked of him. This is a direct challenge to the Pharisees and scribes who Jesus is telling this parable to.We would be wise to be very cautious to think that we have ever obeyed everything God has required. If it were not for Christ fulfilling all the requirements of the law on our behalf we would all perish.
The older son was also a prodigal in that he lavishly hoarded his inheritance. His first concern was himself. His greatest love was his own well being. His greed caused him to whine about the presumed wastefulness of a calf on his brother when he’d not been given even a goat to celebrate with his friends. You could just hear the sulking tone in his voice, you haven't thrown me a party.... and I wonder, How often do we observe the celebrations of other and envy their party? Maybe you've missed that promotion and pay raise at work and greedily pop off that I deserve better than this! How often do we whine when others are succeeding and we are suffering? How often do we scroll through Facebook posts wishing our lives were like others, and feeling sorry that we don't ever get to look that good or smile that big? Not even realizing that our complaining hearts only reveal another form of pride.
Lastly, the older brother proved to be a prodigal by not recognizing what he already had. The Fathers inheritance was his by right. However, he was so bothered with the possibility that his younger brother be treated mercifully, that he needed reminded of what was already his. How often do we become so bothered by sinful people and the possibility that they might actually be shown mercy that we need reminding of what we already have in Christ? How often do we cry out for the condemnation of a person exclaiming they get what they deserve and all the while forgetting that if it were not for our Heavenly Father we’d get what we deserve?
Transition: We’ve notice some truths concerning the younger and older sons, now lets focus on the Father. In _____ Tim Keller wrote a little book entitled prodigal God. In the introduction he says, “

The Father

The Father really is the main character in this parable and He proves to be a prodigal by being extravagant with His own inheritance.
The way He does this is by lavishly seeking His sons whom both have proudly rejected Him. The Father has the prerogative to spend his inheritance however he wishes. And he chooses to spend it on his rebellious sons. This is why as a simple earthly story the Father is as prodigal as his sons. He would be a fool to offer his inheritance to either one of these sons. However, Jesus is teaching truth concerning the kingdom of heaven, this reveals how God the Father has chosen to radically call sinners to Himself by extravagantly extending grace to a humanity that is only deserving of His justice.
The younger son came to his senses, but the Father was seeking him. He saw him while he was far off. And so it is with us, while we were afar off having squander the inheritance of the Father, Jesus payed the price for our sin to be forgiven.
The older son was content to stay outside the party, but the father went out to meet him. And so it is with us, while we are content to separate ourselves from the celebration of heaven and think we have earned our inheritance by being good enough in our own efforts of righteousness Jesus has still payed the price so that we might be made right with God.
Closing: All this points to Jesus’ bringing about the redemption plan of the Father which is a demonstration of recklessly extravagant grace to sinners. Plainly, God has treated us with extravagant grace. Whatever side of the pendulum we are found on, rebellion or religion, God has lavished much grace upon us. How has he done so? By making His one and only Son, who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. II Cor 5:21 . and with that I invite you to stand as we pray.

Jesus is seeking the lost. Am I found?

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