Today we’re going to be reading from the Gospel of Luke Chapter 15. We’re going to read about one of the most famous stories that appears in the Bible. It is a story that talks about the relationship between a child and his father. Most of you know this as the parable of the prodigal son. What better topic is there to talk about on Father’s Day other than our relationship with our father. Not just our paternal father, but our father in heaven. the relationship with our father. how often do we think about that? How often do we sit down and think whole heartedly about just who our father is in our relationship together? How often are not only we asking about our relationship with the father, but others are asking the same question of us-who’s your daddy?
The parable of the prodigal son is such. I begin reading in verse 11: “… and he said a certain man had two sons: 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.” So what’s happened so far? We began reading about a man who had two sons, and one of them wanted all that was due him upon his father’s death. He wanted his inheritance, and he wanted his share of his father’s business. I think it is safe to say that this young man was yearning for his independence. He was yearning to be out on his own, making his own choices in life. We go on to read in verse 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.” So this son decided that he was going out on his own. He packed up everything he had, including his inheritance and high tailed it to another country. This guy wanted to party. We are not told exactly what this son spent all his money on. It could’ve been gambling. it could’ve been prostitutes. It could have been on some really fine wine. It could have even been on extravagant living. sad to say he went through every penny that was given to him. He spent it all, and had nothing to show for it. He didn’t have a home, and he didn’t have food. All he had with the clothes on his back. But then when we think that it couldn’t get any worse, it does. We read beginning in verse 14 that “when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.” Brothers and sisters, this son had thought he had hit rock bottom, only to find out that there were worse things to come. All his money spent, all his wealth gone. Food is scarce to nonexistent for him. In desperation he goes to a Gentile’s farm to seek work feeding the pigs. We know that it was a Gentile because the Jews were forbidden to have pigs as they were an unclean animal. This son was willing to break the law of Moses in a foreign land, with foreign people. And to what avail? His pride? His pride had him eating leftover pig slop. His pride had him homeless and penniless. His pride took him away from the people that love him and would care for him. Is pride, is independence so great a thing that we would forsake the relationship of a loving father? This son had hit rock bottom, and when you’re that far down the only other way to go is up. When we are that far down we to need to look to the source where all our needs are met-physically, emotionally, spiritually. We need to look to the father. We continue reading in verse 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! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.” The son realized how good he really had it before he left his father’s house. He realized that there was no hunger, that there was no poverty living under his father’s care. His father took care of him. His father had taught him how to be an independent man. You see, the son fled from what he thought was keeping him from experiencing life. When in fact he was actually fleeing from the source of protection, love, care that he so desperately needed in order to survive. You see, the sun had learned a very valuable lesson. He learned that a life worth living can in no way be totally dependent on his own efforts. He learned that in his father’s house all his needs were met even those that were servants had all their needs met through the grace of the father. This son became very humble very quick. He had a heart of repentance and realized the importance of having your needs met rather than your desires. He realized that though he had sinned greatly, in his father’s house he could find security. And we read on beginning in verse 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. 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. 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: 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.” The prodigal son has returned home. He returned home expecting nothing. He came home hoping for the chance to be a servant in his father’s house. But his father, upon seeing him approach, realized the repentant heart that his son must have in order to return so humbled. His father rejoiced in his return. His father’s love was greater than any sense of disappointment; his father’s love was greater than any thought of judgment or punishment which his son deserved. The father’s mercy over shadowed all. By the grace and mercy of the father, this long-lost son was restored to a position of honor. He was restored to a position whereby all who saw him knew who his daddy was. he was restored not to the position of a servant, but rather to the position of son. The parable closes out with a dialogue between the other son and the father in verse 28 “and he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came as father out and entreated him. And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve the, 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. And he said unto him, son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 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.” The whole household is in an excited uproar over the return of the lost son. Everyone, except the brother. He had an attitude of entitlement and jealousy. He showed no sense of compassion for the safe return of his brother. The only thing he was focused on was his inheritance. The only thing he was focused on were his future desires. So I ask you which son sinned the more? The one who squandered his inheritance or the pompous self-righteous son who compared a party for him and his friends as being something that equals the celebration of the return of his brother? I think it is safe to say that both have the same sin in their life. Both have a desire to be free but neither of them understands and appreciates what the father offers. They don’t understand while they are in their sin just the fact-who’s their daddy.
Who’s your daddy? I’ve used this phrase several times today. Now it might make you think of that country song by Toby Keith, but that’s not where I’m going today. I want to use the word daddy as an acronym. You know one of those words where each letter of the word represents another word. I want to use it to show our relationship to God the father. D. A. D. D. Y. so what does the first D. stand for? Dedicated. Our father is dedicated to us. He loves us and he cherishes us so much. From the very beginning of time God has been dedicated to us. He has promised a way of salvation. He has promised a way to escape, to leave behind the snare of sin. God is dedicated to keeping his word. Jesus said “I go to prepare a place. In my father’s house are many mansions, if it were not so I would have told you”. God has prepared us a place so that when we hit rock bottom like the prodigal son did we know that we have a home to go to. We will know that God has prepared us a place where all our needs are met. A. Approachable. We like the prodigal son can approach the father. When we are humble and repentant of our sinful ways we can turn to the father and he will welcome us home. When we repent from our sinful ways we are turning away from sin and turning straight towards Jesus. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes before the father except through me”. God has provided us a way to him. You see our sinful ways are an affront to God and he cannot look upon us when we are drowning in a sea of sin such as the prodigal son was. The only way God has given us to be able to come before him is through Jesus Christ. Why would we want to live a life squandering our inheritance taken prematurely from the father. Why would we choose a life that serves our own selfish interests, our own selfish lusts and desires; when we can live in the father’s house not as a servant, but as a son fully restored unto righteousness. As I prepare this I was thinking that not only does A. stand for approachable, but for those prodigals that have already gone home, back to the father the letter a stands for available. As a Christian God is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week/365 days a year/every year of eternity. In Romans 8: 27 it is written “…he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."and in Romans 8:34 "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
Jesus Christ is our direct line to the father. He makes sure that we get through to him. D. D. is for discernment. God the father understands the workings of our hearts. He understands why we do the things we do, even if we do not. It is written in Isaiah 40:28 “his understanding is unsearchable.” In Psalm 147:5 it is written “great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.” God understands so much more than we do. He can see the ultimate big picture and he understands everything that is going on from the tiniest atom to the grandest galaxy swirling through space-God knows and understands all of it. The next D. stands for desirable. All of us at some point in time desire the company, the companionship, the discipleship, and the love of the father. it is by his very nature that we are drawn to him. We have a natural inborn desire to be near him. Our own nature is carved out of the likeness of the father as is found in the creation accounts in Genesis. Even the prodigal son first had a desire for his inheritance from his father and when that inheritance was gone, the prodigal son desired to be back home with the father. The contrast between having all our needs met in the father’s house and having our own way with all of our desires in another country are sharply compared to the greater desire we have two be ultimately in the presence of the father. And lastly the letter Y. Y stands for Yahweh. Yahweh is the name that God gave Moses so that Israel would know the name of God. Even in much later times are we reminded by Jesus that “I and the father are one”. He shows us several times that he is God by stating that he is the I am of the Old Testament. There is no other name that is higher. Yahweh is the name that the children of Israel use as they begin their journey to the promised land-to the home which the father provided.
So church-who’s your daddy? Who’s the one that you go to when all else fails? Who’s the one that rejoices when you return home. When you were once thought lost but now am found. do those words sound a little bit familiar? Amazing Grace? Have you ever listened to the words of that song? It is not a song for funerals! It is a song about the grace and mercy of God the father! “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me I once was lost but now am found was blind but now I see. ‘twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed. The Lord has promised good to me his word my hope secures he will my shield and portion be as long as life endures. Through many dangers toils and snares I have already come to his grace hath brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.” This song fits so good together with what we read about today. The grace of God. It leads us through our troubled times. His grace leads us from our reckless squandering of our inheritance and brings us back to our father’s home. It is God’s grace that restores the prodigal son. It is God’s grace that restores us to fellowship with him. Fellowship. We are to have fellowship with God! That means that we are not servants! The prodigal son wanted to return and be a servant but the father restores him as a son! Father and son. That’s a relationship! God is not unreachable. We know from the Scriptures that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all present. God is everywhere and he’s calling out to you from his home to that country where you are squandering that which he has given you. Prodigals in this church right here right now. Will you come to the realization as prodigal son did? Will you come to the realization that life is so much better in the father’s house where all your needs are met? Will you repent? Will you turn away from sin? Will you turn away from those things which take you far away from the house of your father? Will you turn your eyes back to Jesus? Will you look full in his wonderful face? Because when you’re looking at him you cannot see those things which have kept you away for so long. Will you today take the time like the prodigal son did? Will you stop eating leftover pig slop and come home to your father’s house where the fatted calf awaits you? Or will you continue to do those things which you know are wrong, but you feel that because of your position in life, or the hand that fate dealt you, or whatever else consumes your time away from God-that you are privileged and deserve to have your desires fulfilled! Prodigals it’s time to come home. Your father awaits you with open arms and a kiss.