The Parables of Jesus

Prodigal # 3

   Tonight we are going to be looking again at the Parable of the Prodigal. We have looked at the seven downward steps
of the prodigal, and the seven steps he took to return to the father’s Grace, and tonight we will be looking at the older
son. The father in this parable is representative of God the father, the younger son – the prodigal – is representative of
those who fall away from the father, and the older son is representative of a Christian who has always been in the
church, always been obedient to the father, and never left his fathers house. With these thoughts in mind, we will begin
our lesson, by looking again at his reception when he returned home, and the greeting his father gave him.

Luke 15:11-32
   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.
         elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
   25. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and
         dancing.
   26. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
   27. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath
         received him safe and sound.
   28. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
   29. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time
         thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
   30. But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him
         the fatted calf.
   31. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
   32. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and
         was lost, and is found.

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] We looked at this verse last time, but to better understand our lesson for tonight, it is good for us to look at it
           along with a couple of other one to get us into the proper frame of mind.

   [B] Here we find the Young prodigal, having come to his senses and determining in his heart that he would repent,
           and return to his father, journeying towards home.
           [1] One can imagine what he looked like,
                   [a] With his head hung in shame
                   [b] His clothing ragged and torn
                   [d] His face drawn with worry
                   [e] With a yearning in his heart for the father – yet so ashamed that he could not look towards his home.
           [2] One can imagine what he was thinking
   `               [a] Will my father forgive me
                   [b] Will he accept me back even as one of his servants
                   [c] Will he turn me away and tell me to leave

   [C] Yet when the son was afar off, the Father saw him coming
           [1] This tells us
                   [a] The father never gave up on him
                   [b] The father was watching for his return
                   [c[ The father never lost his love for the son
           [2] The same applies for us, with the father in heaven
                   [a] He never gives up
                   [b] He never stops loving us.

   [D] When the Father saw his wayward son
           [1] He had compassion on him
           [2] He jumped up and ran out to meet him
           [3] He threw his arms around his neck and kissed him
                   [a] God never quits loving us.
                   [b] His compassion never diminishes
                   [c] He is always willing to come out and meet us wherever we are
                   [d] When we come to him with a repentant heart, he is willing to welcome us back into his waiting arms

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 son came home with a repentant heart,

   [B] He was humbled because of his past actions.

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] When the son returned the Father restored him to a proper fellowship
           [1] He had him arrayed in one of his best robes – he received again the robe of righteousness
           [2] He had a ring put on his finger – this is symbolic of the boy being made a member of the family, having his
                   father’s ring on his finger
           [3] He had shoes placed on his feet, - he was no longer a servant - instead he was the master’s son

   [B] When we come to the father, with a humble heart, seeking his forgiveness, he will restore us to a proper
           fellowship just as he did the younger son

Verse twenty-three and 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] It was not enough to restore him to a proper place
           [1] The father wanted everyone to know the lost was back
           [2] He wanted everyone to know that he who was dead in sin, had returned
   
   [B] He made a party for him

Verse twenty-five - Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music
   and dancing.

   [A] The elder son was in the field
           [1] He was doing the same things he had been doing since he was a boy – working in the fields for his father.
           [2] When the younger son left, he had remained, and likely his work doubled as a result

   [B] When he drew near the house.
           [1] Not only had he been working and faithful to his father, a party had begun and he had not been told  
           [2] Here he is walking towards his home, and he hears music playing and saw people dancing around in the
                   yard        

Verse twenty-six - And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.

   [A] Not knowing what was happening, he called one of his servants up to him and asked him what was Happening

   [B] Imagine if you would
           [1] All your life you have been a member of a church,
                   [a] You accepted Jesus at an early age,
                   [b] You diligently strived all your life to please him
                   [c] You were never one of the in-crowd, but instead stood upon your Christian beliefs and Teaching
                   [d] Never did you do any conscious sins – but have remained as pure as you can
           [2] Imagine also
                   [a] Another young person accepted Jesus at the same time you did
                   [b] Both of you went through the same baptismal classes
                   [c] You went to school together – and went to Sunday school classed together
                   [d] Both of you joined the choir
                   [e] Both of you taught Sunday school
           [3] One day you heard
                   [a] You friend has left the church, and gone away
                   [b] You find that he or she had been having an affair with a member of the church, who was married
                   [c] You friend disappears for a while, than you get word that he or she is living in the city and is drinking
                           heavily and taking drugs  
                   [d] Some time later, you learn that your friend has been arrested for selling drugs to children and will be
                           forced to spend the next fifteen years in prison
           [4] Five years later
                   [a] You have been away for a church conference and had to miss worship at your church
                   [b] You return the next week, and sit down in the same pew that you usually sit in and low and behold, that
                           old friend of yours steps up to the pulpit and starts preaching.
                   [c] Unbeknown to you, he has given his life to Jesus and has completely turned his life around and
                           desires only to follow Christ the rest of his life.
                   [d] Just a week ago, he was released from Prison early, and came to church last week, seeking
                           forgiveness from God, and from the membership and was asked by the pastor to preach this week.
                   [e] Everyone else had forgiven him and welcomed him back with open arms
           [5] How would you feel?

Verse twenty-seven - And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he
   hath received him safe and sound.

   [A] Probably the biggest shock of this young man’s life was when he heard these words

   [B] How could his father welcome the wayward son home and even kill a fatted calf to celebrate his Return?
   
   [C] He didn’t want to welcome him home – he didn’t want to accept him back after all he had put them through

   [D] He would have rather throttled him and ran him out of the country

Verse twenty-eight - And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him

   [A] He was so angry that he wouldn’t go inside,
           [1] He didn’t want to associate with that hypocrite
           [2] If the father was going to welcome him home, than maybe he’s a hypocrite as well

   [B] Here’s where we might get upset and stop coming to church
           [1] What was the preacher thinking to allow that hypocrite to preach today?
           [2] After he broke up a good relationship, he expects us to welcome him back with open arms?
           [3] I don’t think even God will forgive him

   [C] In his anger he would not go inside, so the father came out to him
           [1] That’s the wonderful thing about God,
                   [a] He meets us where we are
                   [b] He is so concerned about us, that he seeks us out to give us comfort

Verse twenty-nine and thirty - And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither
   transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my
   friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him
   the fatted calf.

   [A] Basically what he is doing here is asking his father,
           [1] How could you do this?
           [2] How could you show me so little respect?
           [3] How could you lower yourself so much as to do this?
   
   [B] What I see here is a young man whom felt he deserved something from the father,
           [1] I served thee
           [2] I never transgressed against thy commandments
           
   [C] You can see his anger and jealousy towards his brother when he said
           [1]You never gave me a kind that I might be merry with my friends
           [2] As soon as your wayward son returned, the first thing you did was kill the fatted calf
                   [a] Notice that he did not call him his brothrer
                   [b] He was only his father’s son

Verse thirty-one - And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
   
   [A] All I have is thine
           [1] The property was divided  
           [2] What remained was in reality the elder son's.
                   [a] He was heir to everything that was left
                   [b] He had no right to complain.

   [B] The wayward son had thrown away all that the father had given him
           
   [C] Does this mean that the wayward son lost his reward in heaven? Absolutely not!
            [1] He had returned to the Father and had been restored to right fellowship
            [2] He had thrown away the blessings and peace that God had for him here on this earth
            [3] He had lost the respect of many including his brother
            [4] Even so, his place was secured in his father’s house, because he had returned and repented of his sins.  

Verse thirty-two - It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again;
   and was lost, and is found.

   [A] The father’s explanation:
           [1] It was meet that we should be merry
           [2] It was only fitting that we should celebrate for your brother’s return
           [3] How could I not be happy beings I have lamented and fretted over his being gone
           [4] Mt love is just as great for him as it is for you
   
   [B] For your brother
           [1] The older brother denied the younger calling him his father’s son
           [2] The father reminded the older that the younger was his brother
                   [a] In the body of Christ, we are all brother’s and sisters
                   [b] When one hurts, we all should hurt with them
                   [c] When one celebrates, we should celebrate with them
                   [d] If one of them is lost, we should feel a bit lost as well, as we pray and try to get them back to where
                           they should be

   [C] He was dead and lost
           [1] He was dead in his sins
           [2] He had wondered away form where he was safe and fallen into devastating straights
   
   [D] He is alive and found
           [1] He has returned and has been made whole
           [2] He is no longer lost, but is now found

   [E] Questions
           [1] Should not the father celebrate?
           [2] Should not the son celebrate with him?