Prodigal of the Heart
Prodigal of the Heart
Intro.-We read this story, and we all know the life of the prodigal son. We know his wickedness, we know his failure, and we know of his return. But I want us to look at the first verse of this story: “A certain man had two sons.” Now look back at verse 2 of the chapter. The Pharisees and scribes began to murmur. Jesus said to them (the Pharisees and scribes). These were the religious elite. They were not as this prodigal son. They obeyed the Law, they did the right things outwardly, and they were blameless. But this story illustrates the real condition. These two boys illustrate how someone right on the outside could be just as wrong on the inside. One was a prodigal outwardly. The second was a prodigal inwardly. Remember, Jesus was speaking to religious people. He focuses as much on the second as on the first. Let us look at the character of a prodigal of the heart, and see his three problems. Ask yourself if these are evident in your life.
I. He had an angry heart v. 28-29
a. He was angry at his brother. He was angry because his brother had hurt the family name, and wasted a great part of the family fortune. 1 John 4:20-21. This boy would have claimed to love his father, but his heart in reality was far from both his brother and his father.
b. He was angry with his father. We might excuse his actions if he was angry only at his brother. But his anger is directed even more at his father. He was even more bitter at his father for what he hadn’t done than he was at his brother for what he had done. Notice that he directs his accusations more at his father than his brother.
II. He had an unbroken heart. v. 28-29
a. He was bitter. His brother had squandered the family fortune, and destroyed the family name. Instead of remembering that he had no right to be angry, he responded with pride. He inflates his own position to one of near perfection.
b. He did not respond to his father’s entreaty. He responded with anger to his fathers request that he accept his brother. No matter how much he did for his father, his father would have rather that his son listen and respond with obedience when asked. His father desired obedience more than the work he was doing in the fields. How often are you the same way? When God calls, you should answer. He has a message for you every time His word is preached, but do you respond. If you simply give passive agreement
III. He had a thankless heart
a. He did not see what he had. He didn’t see that his fathers blessing rested on him as the oldest, and everything his father had was essentially his. Jewish custom.
b. He focused on what he thought he didn’t have. Ex.-Four Winds. We focus on the choices that we don’t have.
Conclusion- This boy never left home. Probably he spent his life serving his father. Put it in our times, he went to church faithfully, gave his tithe, and served outwardly in every aspect. He did the right things. He was a good person. But at the end of the day, his brother, who lived the wicked life, was better off than he was. Are we the same? How often have you looked at others who live wicked lives and thought you were better than them? How often do we display the character of being good, but not godly? Doing all the right things, but not being the right thing. Dog show illustration