The Parables of Jesus

Prodigal # 2

 The last time we met, we looked at the first part of the Parable of the Prodigal. Tonight we are going to be continuing in
that same parable as we look at part two of the parable.

 If you remember, I told you that the parable showed seven steps in the fall of the Prodigal and seven steps in his
reconciliation. We looked at the seven steps in his fall last time and this time we will be looking at the seven steps in his
return.

Luke 15:11-24
    11. And he said, A certain man had two sons:
    12. And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he
          divided unto them his living.
    13. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and
          there wasted his substance with riotous living.
    14. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
    15. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
    16. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
    17. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to
          spare, and I perish with hunger!
    18. I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
    19. And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
    20. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had
          compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
    21. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to
          be called thy son.
    22. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand,
          and shoes on his feet:
    23. And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
    24. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Verses 12-16 – The seven steps in the Prodigal fall

    [A] Step one – verse twelve - Self-will
   
    [B] Step two – verse thirteen - Selfishness

    [C] Step three – verse thirteen – Separation

    [D] Step four – verse thirteen – Sensuality

    [E] Step five – verse fourteen – Spiritual Destitution

    [F] Step six – Verse fifteen – Abasement

    [G] Step seven – verse sixteen – Starvation

Verse seventeen - And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough
    and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

    [A] In every fall from Grace, there comes a time when one comes to realization. This is the first step in a return to the
            lord.
            [1] Unless one realizes that they have fallen, and that they have a need there is no way they can return to God’s
                    Grace.
            [2] When a sinner comes to repentance, they first have to realize a need to repent – along with a knowledge that
                    they are indeed a sinner, in need of repentance

    [B] Look are verse seventeen again.  
            17. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to
                  spare, and I perish with hunger!
            [1] The prodigal was at the point of realization.
            [2] When he came to himself
                    [a] When he took the time to consider
                    [b] When he laid his life out before himself
                    [c] When he considered his options
            [3] At his point of realization, he determined
                    [a] His fathers hired servants had more than he
                    [b] His father cared for his servants and fed them
                    [c] The servants of the father had nothing they needed
                    [d] Because he had separated himself from the father, he had nothing
            [4] Questions
                    [a] The father here represents whom?
                            [1-a] God the father
                    [b] When a soul removes themselves from the presence of God, what is their live like?
                            [1-a] They are lost and hopeless
                            [2-a] They have a spiritual need that has been lost
                            [3-a] They are alone and hurting
                    [c] Those who remain within in the will of God have what?
                            [1-a] They have all they need and some to spare
                            [2-a] The father looks out for them

Verse eighteen - I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before
    thee,

    [A] The second step in the prodigals return is Resolution
            [1] Resolution is when the Prodigal determined in his heart that is was time to do something
            [2] Resolution always follows Realization         
                    [1-a] First, one has to realize that they have sinned and come short of the Glory of God
                    [2-a] They have to realize that they are out of the will of God, and lost without him
                    [3-a] They have to be broken, and realize that only God can fix them
                    [4-a] Then they have to determine that they need to do something about it
                    [5-a] The have to resolve in their heart that they want to return and humble themselves before the father
                            and seek his forgiveness
   
    [B] Resolution comes when a person determines that they cannot live without God and determines that they are going
            to return to God and seek his forgiveness and Grace, taking whatever God will give him, yet knowing that he        
            deserves nothing from God, except his wrath for the way they have been acting and living
   
    [C] This was where the Prodigal was and now he is ready to go to the father

Verse nineteen - And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
   
    [A] Here we find the third step in the return – Repentance
            [1] First he realized that he was a sinner – Realization
            [2] Secondly he determined that he needed to do something about it – Resolution
            [3] Now he is ready to go before the Father and repent
                    [1-a] His self will is broken – he knows he cannot do it without the Father
                    [2-a] His selfishness is gone – he knows he has nothing outside the Father’s will
                    [3-a] He no longer desires to be separated from the Father
                    [4-a] He realizes that the only sensual thing he needs is the Holy Spirit
                    [5-a] He is lonely and desires to no longer be spiritually destitute, instead he wants to have fellowship with
                            his Father – if only as a hired servant
                    [6-a] He comes to the realization that separation from the Father is to be lowering yourself to the lowest
                            place you will ever be – far into the gutters of life and far from the good things you had hoped for
                    [7-a] He is tired of being hungry, and has developed an appetite for the things of the Father instead of the
                            things of the world,
    
    [B] In broken state, with a contrite heart, he repents
            [1] I am no longer worthy to be called thy son
            [2] Male me one of thy hired servants
                    [1-a] I don’t expect to be where I was before
                    [2-a] I don’t even deserve to be allowed on your property
                    [3-a] I don’t deserve to look upon your face,
            [3] Please, just forgive me and allow me to serve you as a servant

Verse twenty - And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had
    compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

    [A] The forth step in the Prodigal’s return is simply that, the Return

    [B] Having realized his need, and knowing that his only hope lies in the Father, he headed Home Use
            [1] It is not until one knows that God is their only option that one returns to him
            [2] Usually man tries everything they can think of before they return to God
            [3] These thing often drive them deeper and deeper into the depression of sin

    [C] Why does man wait so long to return to God?

    [D] Why is God so often the last option instead of the first?
            [1] Shame
            [2] Pride

Verse twenty - And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had
    compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

    [A] The fifth step is Reconciliation

    [B] What always impressed me about the father, was that he was watching for his son to return
            [1] It is as if he spent every day sitting there watching and hoping that his son would come Home
            [2] Actually, I believe that was exactly what happened
                    [a] When one departs from God, he awaits their return
                    [b] He uses many different things to help us make our decision to return to him
            [3] When the Father saw his son coming, he had compassion on him
                    [a] What does this tell you about the Father?
                    [b] Does God ever give up on us?
                    [c] What does he feel when we return to him?
            [4] He ran to him
                    [a] He didn’t wait until the son came all the way to were he was, and groveled at his feet.
                    [b] He didn’t walk to his son
                    [c] He ran out to meet him – meeting him while he was come home, and showing his son that he missed him
                            and desired him to return to him
            [5] He fell on his neck and kissed him
                    [a] He didn’t wait for his son to tell him he was sorry and to beg for a place to stay,
                    [b] He rant to him and showed him his love
            [6] What does this tell us about God the Father?

Verse twenty-one - And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more
    worthy to be called thy son.

    [A] The father ran to the son and showed him his love

    [B] But the son in his contrite spirit and in his humility before the father admitted that he did not deserve It
            [1] True humility is just that – knowing and believing that you do not deserve anything from God
            [2]With true humility a person knows that anything God gives them is a gift and it is greatly appreciated

Verse twenty-two - But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his
    hand, and shoes on his feet:

    [A] The sixth step is Re-clothing  

    [B] When we are in the will of God and have made him our Saviour, we are clothed in a robe of righteousness

    [C] When we leave the will of God, we are no longer clothed in that robe, and unless we return to God and seek his
            grace and forgiveness, we will be eternally lost
                     
    [D] Thankfully we serve a loving and forgiving God,
            [1] When the Prodigal returned, God met him and showed him his love
            [2] With a broken and contrite spirit, the prodigal admitted that he was not worthy of God’s Grace and love
            [3] Instead of agreeing with the prodigal God clothed him is his best robe, and put a ring on his finger and shoes
                    on his feet.
            [4] God welcomed him back into the fold and re-clothed him in a robe of righteousness

    [E] What does this tell you about the Father?

Verse twenty-three and twenty-four - And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this
    my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

    [A] The seventh step is Rejoicing
   
    [B] Luke 15:10
         10. Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
            [1] The angels rejoice when one sinner repents
            [2] It’s God’s desire as well as the desire of the host of heaven that all should repent and return to God

    [C] To have killed the fatted calf is a sigh of great joy and a desire to please

    [D] To place a ring on his finger was to show the world that he was once again the Father son

    [E] My son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.                        
            [1] He was dead in sin
            [2] Now he had repented and returned to me so that he is once again alive and will have eternal life
            [3] He was lost in sin, and the darkness of sin
            [4] But he who was lost is not found,

    [F] Since the lost one had returned – let us eat and make merry

Conclusion

    [A] Questions
            [1] What should be our attitude towards a person who has slid away from God?
            [2] What should we do for them or towards them?
            [3] What does God feel towards the person who has slid away from him?
            [4] What does he do for them and towards them?
            [5] When that person repents, how does God react?
            [6] When that person repents, how do we react?
            [7] Are we as willing to accept the person back into the fold as God is?
            [8] Can we forgive them for what they have done, said or for the way they have acted?