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The Reckless Father

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Many think this parable is about the prodigal son and his brother, but it is really about the the reckless father who recklessly pours out His love.

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Alright this Sunday we are having confession time.
How many of you have ever gotten a speeding ticket or some sort of ticket for doing something wrong in your life?
How man
doesn’t matter if it was last night or 60 years ago how many of you have gotten a ticket. (look at Francis and make a joke)
So most of you.
and think with me
But if you have ever gotten a ticket or if you are a person that gets a lot of tickets you probably also know that person who gets a ton of warnings
I always get mad when I fin
and you question how is that person not in jail.
I had a close friend of mine who got pulled over with 7 people in a car that sat 5 and two of them were in the trunk.
and he got off with a warning.
and then I get a $400 ticket for going 10 over.
and lets be honest because we cannot when that happens because we think what was that police officer thinking.
How could he be so reckless.
And I think we are like this because we are people who like to see justice.
We like to say this person did something wrong and they deserve this because of that.
and if they are given a second chance or given grace it drives us crazy
because they don’t deserve that and like I said it just seems reckless.
and today we are going to be a passage of scripture found in
and this passage will be continuing the series which is “Following” and this week we are continuing to follow Christ throughout his ministry.
and in this passage specifically Jesus is teaching and there are some Pharisees around but then the Bible starts to tell us that while he is teaching all of these tax collectors and sinners start forming around him and him
And most of us know that the tax collectors in the Bible are usually looked down upon
but its important for us to understand in this passage just how much people hated these guys because its true sometimes they would take extra money for themselves but really all of the taxes that the tax collectors would take went to a government that would oppress its people.
it went to a government where they would randomly kill mass groups of people in the street
It went to a government that would crucify innocent people
It went to just this corrupt government in general
and your neighbor the tax collector is collecting money from you to fund this.
you would really dislike this guy!
and Jesus is teaching to these people who people just do not like a he teaches this Parable which we will be in today.
and I am going to invite us to do something a little different today stand while I read the scripture today and this is a very long passage but stick with me through it because it is a great passage and it has a powerful message for us this morning.
So once again we will be in which says:
(NIV)
The Parable of the Lost Son
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 servants 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 servants.’ 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.’ ”
You know I am sure many of you have heard this story that Jesus tells, but there is one thing that always bothers me about this story and it is how reckless the father in the story is.
You know I am sure many of you have heard this story that Jesus tells
because you have this son who is awful (you think you have bad kids this kid is the worst) and he goes up to his father and ask if he can have his inheritance early
and in this culture they would usually get their inheritance when either their father couldn’t manage things very well or because they would pass away.
and basically for him to come up and ask for his inheritance early would be a way for him to say to his father “Look you do not know how to manage anything you have and truthfully I wish you would die.”
thats what this son is implying through just asking this question.
and you would think the father would say no way. There is no chance of that, but what it actually says is the father goes ahead and gives him his inheritance.
which just seems reckless Because his son is saying I want nothing to do with you.
and it says that the son goes away and lives this wild life and probably was having a blast doing it and the whole time you read that you the father had to know the son was going to do this why would he let him.
But really this story reflects our relationship with God because God’s love can seem reckless at times.
You know He loves us so much that He gives us free will.
He allows us to say to Him you are dead to me and I want nothing to do with you.
He allows us to squander the blessings that He has put in our life and just waste it.
and the worst part is often times we are like the prodigal son and do not even realize we are lost but we think that we are living this great life.
You
A lot of you know know that I am terrible at directions, but I always think I know where I am.
and this is awful and Arika hates it because a lot of times I will drive somewhere and I tell her we don’t need the GPS but then we get a little further and we start to get in a bad area and I start to realize I have no idea where we are
and its about that time to use my phone to get out of this area.
But this is what happens in this parable because what happens is that we see is this son lives this wild life until eventually he runs out of money, and ends up at an all time low point in his life.
It says that he gets a job feeding pigs which in that culture pigs were considered unclean.
so in this culture this is really the worst job you can imagine.
I mean it would be humiliating, it would be disgusting.
and it didn’t even pay very well because it says he longed to eat the food that the pigs were eating.
He was probably starving and you get this picture of him being at an all time low.
where he is hungry, exhausted and really just stuck because of the decisions he has made.
He probably feels like he is in quicksand. Where he messed up and he is going to be stuck there until the day he dies.
and every move he makes is just going to get him to sink a little deeper and a little faster.
and you get this picture
have you ever felt like that?
where you messed up and you just feel paralyzed by our mistake?
and it seems like you try to get out of it but all that happens is you sink a little deeper and sink a little faster.
and what happens is you feel trapped, you feel exhausted, tiered and you think am I going to die like this because there is no way out.
but did you ever know if you are caught in true quick sand and there is no one around or what you have to do is you lean back and try to float on your back like you are floating on water and then you gradually make it back to land slowly.
and that is what we see this son do because we see the son realizes that He has messed up (he is in deep quicksand)
and the only thing he thinks he can do is crawl back to his father.
because he realizes that his father might take him back as a slave or servant and he at least wont have to starve to death.
And it says in verse 18 he starts preparing a speech to give to his father for when he returns.
and you just picture him going over this speech in his head over and over again as he is walking back
You know he is just going I have messed up big time and I don’t even deserve to be your son
as he is walking back just in shame
and as he is walking back just in shame
and this passage says he was still far away from his father when his father saw him and it says that his father actually runs to his son
Which if he saw his son a long way out it wasn’t like he was his morning run and ran into his son, but it means he was looking for his son.
but he runs to his son wh
He was waiting for this day where he would get to run out to his son and just embrace his lost son.
and we see in this story his son starts to do his rehearsed speech where he say’s I don’t deserve to be your son
but before he can even say make me your hired servant the father interrupts him and says no you are my son.
and the father actually says to his servants there to basically treat this son like royalty because his son has come home.
And you know God is the same way with us he is sitting there waiting for anyone who doesn’t know him to come home to be in a relationship with him.
because he loves you and even when you are like the prodigal son straying further then you ever could there is a God who is ready to run to you.
So often we get caught in the sin of our life (this quick sand) and we think exactly what the prodigal son thought where we go we need to inch our way back into who God is calling us to be.
but God is sitting here running to us and extending his arm say I want you back.
You don’t have to be stuck where you are but I am ready to embrace you as my child.
I am ready to love you unconditionally.
even when you are in the quick sand!
Even when you have said I want nothing to do with you I love you.
and I desire to wrap my arms around you.
It really is beautiful, but the story keeps going because they have this huge party for this son (the word for the music that is playing is translated symphony)
I mean this is a huge party probably bigger then a wedding.
and the story shifts to this fathers other son who is out in the field and is doing exactly what he is supposed to do.
and the other son finds out about this party and is furious because his brother doesn’t deserve this type of treatment (he has been terrible).
and I relate to this guy because I would be upset to.
but what happens is the father actually goes out to get this other son also.
He goes out to this and son tells him come back in
but his son is frustrated with him because the son is basically saying I deserve to have this giant party for me, I deserve to have a feast in honor of me.
and you know this son represents the pharisees because these guys were good people in fact they were amazing.
If you think you are a good person because you got up at 6:00 AM and did devotions this morning these guys still put you to shame because they spent the majority of their day in the Bible and praying.
and they had basically the entire old testament memorized.
and they made sure they obeyed everything the Old Testament said to a T.
and yet what this parable says is even when these Pharisees who did everything they could to be in a good relationship with God, they still fell short.
and this is because when you compare anyones life no matter how good they are to a Holy God we all fall short.
and
not even the Pharisees can stand.
Every single person falls short and is in need of God’s grace and love in their lives.
and it is so easy to be like the brother in this passage where we look at this grace and love and get annoyed
because it just seems unbelievably reckless.
You know I was talking about my friend in the beginning who got a warning on a ticket for something he probably should have been put in jail for and how I was mad about that.
but then one day I got pulled over on my way back home and all the sudden I was hoping that the police officer would give me a warning.
and you know there is some truth there with our relationship with God.
because we view Gods love as reckless until we are the ones who need it.
and the truth is we all need it.
Every single one of us needs that love and the only way we can get it is through crying out to God.
You can come to church every Sunday.
You can memorize scripture,
You can help people in need
but unless you come to God like the prodigal son.
saying God I am not worthy, you have missed the mark.
and I want to end like this because in this story often times we make the focus on the prodigal son or the goody tosho son.
but the focus of this parable is on the reckless father.
The father that pursued both of his sons.
the father that never gave up watching for his son
The father that ran out and embraced his son
and a father who is wanting to do the same to you.
A father that came down and died on the cross for you even while we wanted nothing to do with him.
And we are going to end in a very appropriate way this morning by participating in communion.
and communion is one way that we remember the grace the grace that God has given us when he died on the cross.
because the night before Christ was crucified he was having a meal with his disciples
and during this meal He took the bread gave thanks and passed it out to his disciples saying this is my body which I have given to you.
and he told them to eat it in remembrance of him
then when the supper was over he took the cup and told his disciples to drink from it because this is by blood of the covenant which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins.
and he tells them to drink in remembrance of him.
On the night in which He was betrayed, He took bread, gave thanks, broke the bread, gave it to His disciples, and said: “This is my body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
and today we receive communion to remember and experience the grace that Christ showed us when he came down and died on the cross for all of us.
Everyone is welcome to participate in communion as long as you have placed your trust in Christ as your Lord and Savior.
We will be closing with this last song but during it I want to invite you when you are ready to come forward and receive the bread and juice but then take it back to your seat and we will receive it together as the body of Christ.
Song
The body of our lord Jesus Christ Broken for you. Eat in remembrance of Him
The blood of our lord Jesus Christ Shed for you Drink in remembrance of Him.
Pray.
Likewise, when the supper was over, He took the cup, gave thanks, gave it to His disciples, and said: “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.” Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. We gather at this, your table, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who by your Spirit was anointed to preach good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, set at liberty those who are oppressed. Christ healed the sick, fed the hungry, ate with sinners, and established the new covenant for forgiveness of sins. We live in the hope of His coming again.
We gather at this, your table, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who by your Spirit was anointed to preach good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, set at liberty those who are oppressed. Christ healed the sick, fed the hungry, ate with sinners, and established the new covenant for forgiveness of sins. We live in the hope of His coming again.
We gather at this, your table, in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who by your Spirit was anointed to preach good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives, set at liberty those who are oppressed. Christ healed the sick, fed the hungry, ate with sinners, and established the new covenant for forgiveness of sins. We live in the hope of His coming again.
Likewise, when the supper was over, He took the cup, gave thanks, gave it to His disciples, and said: “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in remembrance of me.” Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (, )
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