Luke 15

11And He said, "A man had two sons. 12"The younger of them said to his father,'Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' So he divided his wealthbetween them.

  • The father will allow us to make our mistakes - he is not a controlling Father.  He loves us and wants the best for us but He will allow us to screw up if we cannot be dissuaded
  • This kid grew up in the home of a good Father - he knew that what he was doing was unacceptable
  • The Father did not argue with him - he did not threaten - he just divided the wealth and let the kid make his stupid decision
  • The son didn’t ASK for advice

13"And not many days later, the younger son gathered everythingtogether and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.

  • The Father knew what the kid was going to do - he wasn’t an idiot
  • Some lessons the Lord lets us learn the hard way
  • Notice the Father never says to him “don’t ever come back” or “if you walk out that door!"

14"Now when he had spent everything, a severe famineoccurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished.

  • “when He had spent everything - interesting isn’t it that the famine came at exactly the moment when the kid could least afford it

15"So he went and hiredhimself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

  • He hired himself out - he left to find freedom - he becomes a slave
  • He went to feed the swine - He lost his identity - he went off to find himself and he loses himself in the process


16"And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving [anything] to him.

  • he left to pursue the pleasures he felt he deserved - he was not even given garbage to eat

17"But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enoughbread, but I am dying here with hunger!

  • I was a son - a person of privilege in my Father’s house and I walked away
  • The lowest of servants in my father’s house had more than enough to eat

18I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men."'

  • Here we see finally why he ran from his Father’s house in the first place
    1. He thought he had been worthy to be called the son of the Father - “I am NO LONGER worthy” - it was never about HIS worth
    2. He thought His father wanted a worker not a son
      • the Father has plenty of workers - he only had two sons and one of them ran away from him
    3. He never understood His Father’s heart
      • the Father was never in this for what He was getting out of the deal
      • the Father loved his Son and wanted his son - because he wanted His son!

20"So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father sawhim and felt compassion [for him], and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

  • He came to his Father - this is what repentance looks like
  • A LONG WAY OFF - Jeremiah 29:13 - "you will seek me and you will find me"
  • felt compassion for him - "to be moved in the inner being"
    • do we understand that we MOVE Abba?
    • we MOVE the heart of the unchangeable God
  • He ran -
    • Older Jewish Gentlemen of wealth did not run
    • there was no hesitation in the Father’s heart
    • there was nothing of “let him prove himself and I’ll let him come back in"
    • there was NO desire in the Father’s heart to ask the son to earn his right to come home

21"And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'

  • The Father does not even dignify this with a response

22"But the father said to his slaves,'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet;

  • QUICKLY! - the Father wouldn’t even wait a moment to hear the spiel the son wanted to lay out!
  • Bring the best robe - the robe of the son - the robe of the celebrated one and put it on him
  • put a ring on his hand - restoration of authority and status as a son of the Father - a person of wealth and status

23and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate;24for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate.

  • the fattened calf - the party food - the best food
  • let us eat and celebrate
  • this SON of mine was dead and has come back to life - he was lost and has been found

25"Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.

  • He hears the celebration - he has been out working hard - doing his Father’s will

26"And he summoned one of the servants and [began] inquiring what these things could be.

  • He doesn’t go directly to the Father to find out what is going on

27"And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calfbecause he has received him back safe and sound.'

  • I hear astonishment in the servant’s voice - you know the prodigal has been a source of gossip in the house
  • Now the Father is celebrating
  • They have taken on the joy of the Father - there is nothing so attractive as forgiveness and the joy and freedom of grace

28"But he became angryand was not willing to go in; and his father came out and [began] pleading with him.

  • He became angry
    • no relief that his brother was ok
    • no gladness even for his Father who had been grieving a lost son
  • Now look at the Father’s heart for his older son
    • he was pleading for his older son to understand his heart
    • he was pleading for his older son to ENTER IN to the JOY of his father and celebrate!!

29"But he answered and said to his father, 'Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and [yet] you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealthwith prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.'

  • We see again the inability of the son to understand his father
  • I work my butt off for you and you’ve never given me anything
    • that was a lie - every thing the Son had was a gift from His father
    • We see again that the son is basing his understanding of his relationship with his Father on something outside the Father
      • His brother’s salvation was his morality - when he stopped being moral he was “no longer worthy”
      • His salvation was his hard work - "I SERVE YOU and have never neglected a command"
    • We are sons and daughters because HE MADE US sons and daughters!!!
      • 1 John 3:1 "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"


31"And he said to him, 'Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.

  • Son you have always been with me
    • the Father recognizes our work and our faithfulness
    • that is not why he calls us his kids
  • All that is mine is yours
    • His fatherhood means that all that he has is ours -
      • “you never gave me a goat” - YOU NEVER ASKED!

32But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and [has begun] to live, and [was] lost and has been found.'"