Faithlife Sermons

Leaving Home

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 2 views
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Leaving Home (Luke 15:11-19)

Most of us do not think our autobiography will ever be published. Actually, it has been. This story is the mirror which reflects the image of us all. Luke 15 gives three parables nowhere else recorded. The most memorable of these is about the boy who left home and came back when he remembered the Father. The occasion of this story was criticism by Jesus' religious enemies that all the sinners continually were being drawn to drink in His words. What they considered a shame Jesus wore as a badge of honor. This story was more than enough reply to them.

We shall look at this in three sermons. Today's message tells the story of going away from the point of the son. What happens when you leave the Fathers home?

We Leave Home When We Think That Life Is Getting Away from the Father

All of us make the decision that the essence of life is getting away from the Father. That means that the essence of life suddenly becomes immediacy of fulfillment. I want it all now. This boy about seventeen wanted his share of the family estate. Eve wanted it all now in the garden. We want it all now. But beyond that, getting away from the Father means a totality of possession. I want it all now. This particular demand left room for no more resources in the future. We leave the Father when we make such a demand.

The essence of getting away from the Father is an urgency of independence from the Father: 'Not long after that. . . . " There is a kind of hellish haste or ruinous rush about getting away from the Father. It is hard to live in a twilight zone only half there and half gone. This leads inevitably to the desirability of distance: "set off for a distant country" (v. 13). The very energy of life seems to be at stake in getting as far away from the Father's eye, care, and protection as possible.

The beginning of all alienation from God, others, and ourselves is the insanity that life is worth living only by leaving home, putting distance between ourselves and the Father.

We Then Hit the Reality of Life Away from the Father

Life away from the Father begins with a frenzy of vitality. What he had quickly gathered together he quickly scattered apart. At this point the boy's life looked like vitality, energy, and desirability. Beneath it all there was a ruinous recklessness and extravagance that depleted all of life's capital resources. Life away from the Father always begins with busy vitality. Jesus does not give the details of the boy's sin. Jesus did not want to give any reality to what is always unreal. It is the Bermuda Triangle of existence. It has no reality.

Life away from the Father continues with the loss of all resources. He wasted everything that he had. We spend up the stuff of life running away from the Father. Time, emotional energy, willpower—all are burned up while we do not even know it. Suddenly there is a total lack of resources inside or outside of us. There is a famine in the whole extent of the land, nowhere to turn to in all the landscape. But worse than that, we feel the worm of want eating our insides for the first time.

Life away from the Father ends with degrading despair. The boy who wanted to be independent has to "glue" himself to a repulsive Gentile foreigner. His independence from the Father has led to the most humiliating dependence on a stranger who did not even want him. He did the most hated thing his race could do—feed pigs. Could anything be worse than that? Yes. He envied the very swine as they ate the carob beans. He wanted to stuff his own belly with the worst imaginable food for a human. But he did not have a single friend to give him the worst to eat.

Running away from the Father leaves us to fill our lives with anything to stop the shouting, screaming rage of the emptiness within. We can fill that emptiness with all kinds of good things—housework, yardwork, churchwork, busy work. We may fill it with all kinds of bad things. But it screams out to be filled.

We Start Back Home When We Remember that the Father Is Good

We discover the insanity of life away from the Father. The story all turns on the words "When he came to his senses" (v. 17). He could have come to them before this extremity of humiliation. He had been living in a trance. He told himself "this is living" while all the time he really knew "this is dying." How does this happen? The father enlightens us or it would never happen. He suddenly remembers that the day laborers of his father have more and better resources from the Father than he now has. The least in his father's family has more life than he.

We start home when we deliberately move from lethargy and despair. He decides, "I will set out. . . . " The emphasis is on the immediacy, "I will go at once." Life away from the Father turns us into semiparalyzed sleepwalkers. We should act at once or we will never act at all. There is a moment to stand, or never stand at all.

We start home when we make no claim except the Father's grace. Without excuse or extenuation he acknowledged it all. He gives up every claim of his own against the Father or life itself. He simply wants to get back to the Father's house, even as the lowest laborer. Anything would be an improvement. We do not come back to the Father by making claims against Him or explaining away our own insanity. We simply arise and cry out, "Make me . . . ." (v. 19). The rest is up to His grace.

Gregory's Sermon Synopses: 200 Expanded Summaries.

Leaving Home (Luke 15:11-19)

Most of us do not think our autobiography will ever be published. Actually, it has been. This story is the mirror which reflects the image of us all. Luke 15 gives three parables nowhere else recorded. The most memorable of these is about the boy who left home and came back when he remembered the Father. The occasion of this story was criticism by Jesus' religious enemies that all the sinners continually were being drawn to drink in His words. What they considered a shame Jesus wore as a badge of honor. This story was more than enough reply to them.

We shall look at this in three sermons. Today's message tells the story of going away from the point of the son. What happens when you leave the Fathers home?

We Leave Home When We Think That Life Is Getting Away from the Father

All of us make the decision that the essence of life is getting away from the Father. That means that the essence of life suddenly becomes immediacy of fulfillment. I want it all now. This boy about seventeen wanted his share of the family estate. Eve wanted it all now in the garden. We want it all now. But beyond that, getting away from the Father means a totality of possession. I want it all now. This particular demand left room for no more resources in the future. We leave the Father when we make such a demand.

The essence of getting away from the Father is an urgency of independence from the Father: 'Not long after that. . . . " There is a kind of hellish haste or ruinous rush about getting away from the Father. It is hard to live in a twilight zone only half there and half gone. This leads inevitably to the desirability of distance: "set off for a distant country" (v. 13). The very energy of life seems to be at stake in getting as far away from the Father's eye, care, and protection as possible.

The beginning of all alienation from God, others, and ourselves is the insanity that life is worth living only by leaving home, putting distance between ourselves and the Father.

We Then Hit the Reality of Life Away from the Father

Life away from the Father begins with a frenzy of vitality. What he had quickly gathered together he quickly scattered apart. At this point the boy's life looked like vitality, energy, and desirability. Beneath it all there was a ruinous recklessness and extravagance that depleted all of life's capital resources. Life away from the Father always begins with busy vitality. Jesus does not give the details of the boy's sin. Jesus did not want to give any reality to what is always unreal. It is the Bermuda Triangle of existence. It has no reality.

Life away from the Father continues with the loss of all resources. He wasted everything that he had. We spend up the stuff of life running away from the Father. Time, emotional energy, willpower—all are burned up while we do not even know it. Suddenly there is a total lack of resources inside or outside of us. There is a famine in the whole extent of the land, nowhere to turn to in all the landscape. But worse than that, we feel the worm of want eating our insides for the first time.

Life away from the Father ends with degrading despair. The boy who wanted to be independent has to "glue" himself to a repulsive Gentile foreigner. His independence from the Father has led to the most humiliating dependence on a stranger who did not even want him. He did the most hated thing his race could do—feed pigs. Could anything be worse than that? Yes. He envied the very swine as they ate the carob beans. He wanted to stuff his own belly with the worst imaginable food for a human. But he did not have a single friend to give him the worst to eat.

Running away from the Father leaves us to fill our lives with anything to stop the shouting, screaming rage of the emptiness within. We can fill that emptiness with all kinds of good things—housework, yardwork, churchwork, busy work. We may fill it with all kinds of bad things. But it screams out to be filled.

We Start Back Home When We Remember that the Father Is Good

We discover the insanity of life away from the Father. The story all turns on the words "When he came to his senses" (v. 17). He could have come to them before this extremity of humiliation. He had been living in a trance. He told himself "this is living" while all the time he really knew "this is dying." How does this happen? The father enlightens us or it would never happen. He suddenly remembers that the day laborers of his father have more and better resources from the Father than he now has. The least in his father's family has more life than he.

We start home when we deliberately move from lethargy and despair. He decides, "I will set out. . . . " The emphasis is on the immediacy, "I will go at once." Life away from the Father turns us into semiparalyzed sleepwalkers. We should act at once or we will never act at all. There is a moment to stand, or never stand at all.

We start home when we make no claim except the Father's grace. Without excuse or extenuation he acknowledged it all. He gives up every claim of his own against the Father or life itself. He simply wants to get back to the Father's house, even as the lowest laborer. Anything would be an improvement. We do not come back to the Father by making claims against Him or explaining away our own insanity. We simply arise and cry out, "Make me . . . ." (v. 19). The rest is up to His grace.

Related Media
Related Sermons