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Lost And Found Younger Son Luke 15

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LOST & FOUND: THE YOUNGER BROTHER

LUKE 15:11-24

INTRO: MANY AD AGENCIES ARE PAID BIG BUCKS TO COME UP WITH CLEVER SLOGANS FOR CO.  “BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS”  “JUST DO IT”  “GOOD TO THE LAST DROP”—CHURCHES COME UP MISSION OR PURPOSE STATEMENTS BUT HOWEVER THEY ARE WORDED OR PRINTED THE CHURCH MUST BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT REACHING LOST (NOT JUST PAID STAFF) (EX: ROBERT COSBY IS RETIRED ALA. DOCTOR—HE TOOK OVER $3 MILLION HE INVESTED IN STOCKS OVER THE YRS AND BOUGHT VIDEO TAPES OF “JESUS FILM”—HE WANTED EVERY ALA. RESIDENT (1.7 MILLION) TO GET A COPY OF THE TAPE)

THIS PARABLE IS BEST KNOWN OF JESUS’ PARABLES & REFLECTS WHAT WAS MOST ON JESUS’MIND/HEART. JESUS CONSISTENTLY CLASHED WITH PHARISEES—HE UNMASKED THEIR HYPOCRISY & LOWERED THEIR HONOR STATUS—THESE 3 PARABLES WERE MEANT TO EXPOSER THE PHARISEES EVIL INTENTIONS AND THEIR HYPPOCRISY—THE THEME OF THESE 3 IS JOY IN HEAVEN OVER REPENTANCE OF SINNERS—CELEBRATION OF FINDING LOST SHEEP & COIN IS EXAGGERATED AND IS MEANT TO BE—THE SHEPHERD/WOMAN AND FATHER ARE ALL SYMBOLS OF CHRIST

I.                  THE SON’S DEMANDS

THE GRK WORD TRANS. PRODIGAL WASTEFUL/MORALLY DEPRAVED/UNDISCIPLINED—NKJV SAYS “WASTED HIS POSSESSIONS ON PRODIGAL LIVING”—OTHERS SAY “LOOSE OR WILD LIVING”  THIS YOUNG MAN WANTED NOTHING MORE TO DO WITH HIS FAMILY.  DEUT.21:15-17 SAID FAMILY LAND/POSSESSIONS NOT TO BE SOLD OR TRANSFERRED OUT OF FAMILY—FIRSTBORN GOT DOUBLE PORTION.  THIS SON’S REQUEST WAS OUTRAGEOUS—“GIVE ME MY SHARE OF INHERITANCE”—LIKE SAYING “DAD, I WISH YOU WERE DEAD” THIS WAS GROSS DISHONOR TO HIS FATHER.  NORMALLY A FATHER WOULD SLAP HIS SON PUBLICLY TO SHAME HIM—THEN TREAT HIM AS DEAD  (MOCK FUNERAL) (NOTICE V.24 “MY SON WAS DEAD”)—PHARISEES WOULD SAY IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO RESTORE A SON AFTER AN ACTION LIKE THAT.  1/3 OF FAMILY ASSESTS TO GO TO YOUNGER SON ONLY AFTER FATHER DIED—BUT THIS SON WANTED HIS SHARE NOW—NO MORE OBLIGATIONS OR RESPONSIBILITIES.

II.               THE FATHER’S RESPONSE

THE FATHER WOULD HAVE TO LIGUIDATE THE ESTATE & MUCH TO SHOCK OF THE AUDIENCE THE FATHER DID THAT!  THIS SON’S BEHAVIOR WOULD BE PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE—GOSSIP FOR VILLAGE—IF FATHER DIDN’T PUBLICLY DISOWN HIM THEN THE FAMILY NAME WOULD BE DISHONORED—BUT FATHER WOULD RATHER TAKE PUBLIC HUMILIATION THAN DISOWN HIS SON (WE THINK OF ALL JESUS WAS WILLING TO DO FOR US—EVEN WHEN WE REBELLED & TURNED OUR BACKS ON HIM)  SO THE SON TOOK A GREATLY REDUCED AMT THAN IF HE HAD WAITED UNTIL HIS FATHER DIED—THIS SHOWS US THE FOOLISHNESS OF SIN—REJECT FATHER’S LOVE/PROVISION/PROTECTION.  THE JEWISH LEADERS WOULD KNOW WHAT JESUS MEANT WHEN HE SAID “JOURNEYED TO A FAR COUNTRY”—(GENTILE COUNTRY)—LEAVING HIS CULTURAL HERITAGE & FAITH—THIS WAS TOTAL DEFILEMENT IN THEIR EYES—BEYOND COMPRHENSION—EYOND REDEMPTION

III.           THE SON’S DESTRUCTION

THE SON THOUGHT ONLY OF IMMEDIATE PLEASURE (NO FUTURE) THIS IS WHAT SIN DOES—IT BLINDS TO TRUTH. SATAN NEVER LETS YOU READ FINE PRINT—SEE,TASTE, TOUCH, SMELL,EXPERIENCE ALL YOU CAN---IT WASN’T LONG BEFORE HE “SQUANDERED (WASTED)” WHAT HE HAD ON PRODIGAL (LOOSE) LIVING—THIS WOULD INCLUDE ALL KINDS OF SELF INDULGENCE—IT IS THE PRINCIPLE OF REAPING WHAT WE SOW. SIN NEVER DELIVERS WHAT IT PROMISES. HIS BIG BANKROLL & SO CALLED FRIENDS WERE SOON GONE.  AND ALL BLESSINGS/SECURITY OF HOME WERE LOST TOO.  THEN A SEVERE FAMINE HIT. JESUS’ AUDIENCE WOULD SEE THIS AS DISCIPLINE FROM GOD. NOW HE IS DESPERATE—NO FAMILY OR FRIENDS OR RESOURCES & IN FOREIGN LAND. THE PARTY WAS OVER—HE WAS ABOUT TO DIE. YET EVEN WITH ALL THE PAIN MANY WILL NOT GIVE UP THEIR SIN—HE STILL WAS NOT READY TO GO HOME. HE “JOINED HIMSELF” (LIT. GLUED) TO A WEALTHY CITIZEN—IN ESSENCE HE BECAME A BEGGAR—FEEDING PIGS WAS DEMEANING WORK DONE BY MENTALLY DEFICIENT—BUT HE GOT SO HUNGRY HE LONGED TO EAT THE “CAROB PODS” (SHELLS VERY TOUGH, LEATHERY) INEDIBLE FOR HUMANS.  A HORRIBLE PICTURE OF WHAT SIN DOES. IT REJECTS GODS LOVE/AUTHORITY—DISHONORS HIM

IV.           THE SON’S DECISION

THEN THE SON “CAME TO HIMSELF” OR “CAME TO HIS SENSES” HE FINALLY FACED THE TRUTH—HE HAD BEEN LIVING “OUT OF HIS MIND” PURSUING A PATH OF MORAL INSANITY. HE WAS SPITIRUALLY BANKRUPT—SIN WILL CAUSE PEOPLE TO SACRIFICE FAMILY/JOB/REPUTATION JUST TO PURSUE SELFISH DESIRES (RESCUE MISSIONS ARE FULL OF PEOPLE WHO RUN AFTER PLEASURES WITHOUT THINKING OF CONSEQUENCES. THE PHARISEES COULD NOT POSSIBLY IMAGINE HOW THIS SON COULD RETURN & BE RESTORED. BUT THE SON KNEW HIS FATHER WAS GOOD/GRACIOUS & HE WAS WRONG (V.17-19)

A.   ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY & ADMIT HIS WRONG. REPENTANCE STARTS WITH RECOGNIZING OUR CONDITION

B.   ACCEPT BEING A HIRED SERVANT (DAY LABORER) THIS WAS LOWER THAN A SLAVE (THEY HAD LIVING QUARTERS/CLOTHING)—BUT DAY LABORERS WERE ON THEIR OWN—EARNING FROM DAY TO DAY—GOT LEFTOVER FOOD!

C.   ACCEPT A NEW PERSPECTIVE. HE HAD NOT APPRECIATED HIS FATHER BEFORE.  REPENTANCE IS NOT A MOOD SHIFT BUT A LIFE-ALTERING, COMPLETE U-TURN.

THE PHARISEES HAD WRITTEN THIS SON OFF—NO WAY BACK. IF HE COULD HE WOULD HAVE TO EARN HIS FATHERS FORGIVENESS—HE HAD SINNED AGAINST (LIT. INTO)HEAVEN. THIS WAS A MASSIVE PILE OF GUILT—SO HE WENT BACK REHEARSING MANY TIMES HIS CONFESSION SPEECH—HE KNEW HE WOULD HAVE TO EARN HIS WAY BACK—COMPLETELY DEPENDENT ON FATHER’S MERCY—NO ONE WOULD TAKE HIM IN IF HIS FATHER DISOWNED HIM—MOST FATHER’S WOULD NOT SEE A SON LIKE THAT FACE TO FACE—AND PENALTY UNDER LAW FOR REBELLIOUS SON WAS DEATH BY STONING. PHARISEES EXPECTED FATHER TO COME DOWN HARD ON THIS SON—EXCLUDED FROM FAMILY PRIVILEGES & FELLOWSHIP—NEVER HAVE STATUS AS SON.

V.               THE FATHER’S RESPONSE

BUT THE FATHER FORGAVE COMPLETELY! HE HAD BEEN LOOKING FOR HIM FOR A LONG TIME. WE KNOW IT WAS DAY BECAUSE HE SAW HIM COMING “LONG WAY OFF”   GOD IS SO PATIENT & ANXIOUS TO FORGIVE—HE HAD TO REACH HIS SON BEFORE HE GOT TO VILLAGE—PROTECT HIM FROM THEIR SCORN—THE FATHER WOULD TAKE THE SHAME & ABUSE. SO HE RAN (SPRINTED)—SHAMEFUL FOR RESPECTED OLDER MAN TO RUN AND EMBRACED HIM—HE HAD COMPASSION (DEEP EMOTION) THIS IS WAY GOD FEELS ABOUT US!  HE KISSED HIM REPEATEDLY—IT DIDN’T MATTER HOW DIRTY HE WAS—HE WAS HOME---WHEN THEY GOT TO THE  VILLAGE THIS SON WOULD BE FULLY RECONCILED/FORGIVEN.  THE SONS DEBT WAS TOO GREAT TO REPAY—AS IS OURS!  CHRIST TOOK SHAME & GUILT & WELCOMES US HOME. THE FATHER DIDN’T LET HIM FINISH HIS CONFESSION—THIS PARABLE FOR PHARISEES—THEIR TWISTED IDEA OF GOD AND LACK OF GRACE.

SERVANTS WERE CHASING AFTER THE FATHER RUNNING THRU VILLAGE—IT WOULD BE FUNNY BUT IT WAS REALLY SHAMEFUL & OUT OF CHARACTER—AS SOON AS FATHER EMBRACED HIS SON HE GAVE ORDERS TO SERVANTS—“QUICKLY” –GET BANQUET READY—REMEMBER PRODIGAL MEANS LAVISH/EXTRAVAGANT—NOW THE FATHER BEING PRODIGAL! THE AUDIENCE COULD NOT BELIEVE THIS—FATHER HONORING A DISHONORABLE SON WHO HAS WASTED FAMILY WEALTH—YES!  LOOK AT WHAT FATHER DOES

          SANDALS—GIFT OF SONSHIP—HIRED SERVANTS & HOUSE SLAVES WENT BAREFOOT—ONLY MASTERS & SONS HAD SANDALS

          ROBE—GIFT OF HONOR—EVERY NOBLEMAN HAD A CHOICE ROBE—EXPENSIVE/ORNATE—LIKE TUXEDO. THAT ROBE HE PUT ON HIS SON—BEFORE HE EVEN CLEANED UP!

          RING—GIFT OF AUTHORITY—HAD FAMILY CREST/SEAL—IT WAS PRESSED INTO LEGAL DOCUMENTS—SO THE SON GIVEN LEGAL RIGHT TO USE FATHERS ASSETS—PRIVILEGES WERE RESTORED.  SO CHRIST RECEIVES SINNERS (OUTCASTS/UNCLEAN)  ROM.4:5 “CHRIST JUSTIFIES THE UNGODLY”  PHARISEES COULDN’T HANDLE THAT—ITS JUST NOT FAIR—ELDER SON SHOULD HAVE WORN ROBE OR FATHER WORN IT AT HIS WEDDING—ELDER SON SHOULD HAVE RING.

BUT GODS GRACE IS EXTRAVAGANT!  THEN THE “FATTED CALF” IS BUTCHERED—FATTED MEANT GRAIN FED—EXPENSIVE LUXURY & IMPLIES EXTREME WEALTH.  THIS CALF ABOUT 5MO. OLD & WEIGH 500#--FEED LOT OF PEOPLE!  THIS KIND OF BANQUET FOR VERY SPECIAL OCCASIONS (DIGNITARY OR WEDDING OF FIRSTBORN)  BUT THIS SONS RETURN CALLED FOR MASSIVE CELEBRATION—LAST SEVERAL DAYS—VILLAGE INVITED—FATHER HAS FORGIVEN/RESTORED ONE WHO BROUGHT GRIEF—BANQUET WAS HONORING THE FATHER WHO GAVE BACK LIFE & PRIVILEGES—WHAT A PICTURE OF WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE FOR US!   AND THEY”BEGAN” TO BE MERRY—THE PARTY NEVER ENDS!  HEAVEN’S JOY—SINNERS ARE BEING REDEEMED SOMEWHERE IN WORLD ALL THE TIME. SO REJOICE IN LORD ALWAYS—AGAIN I SAY REJOICE!

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