The Prodigal Son – Part 1 | Luke 15:11-14

The Prodigal Son – Part 1 | Luke 15:11-14

The Prodigal Son Part 1 – Bad, The Beginning of Worse. Luke 15:11-14Introduction

Please Stand for the reading of God’s Word.

Luke 15:11-32 ESV  And he said, “There was a man who had two sons.  (12)  And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.  (13)  Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.  (14)  And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need.  (15)  So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs.  (16)  And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.  (17)  “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!  (18)  I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.  (19)  I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’  (20)  And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.  (21)  And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’  (22)  But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.  (23)  And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.  (24)  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.  (25)  “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.  (26)  And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.  (27)  And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’  (28)  But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him,  (29)  but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.  (30)  But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’  (31)  And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.  (32)  It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

You may be seated.

  • This is the story of the Prodigal Son.
    • And before I get into today’s message, because we are going to break this up into multiple sermons, I want to make sure that we are all on the same page about what is going on here.
    • Now last week Deacon Jared did a wonderful job of explaining the previous two parables.
      • You see there were these pharisees, religious scholars who believed that they were the only ones worthy of being saved, that they were the only ones worth going to heaven.
      • And one of these pharisees or scribes says this about Jesus:

Luke 15:2b ESV  … “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

  • In fact scripture says that this guy “grumbled” this.
    • So Jesus responds to this grumbling with three separate parables.
    • First Jesus gives this parable of the lost sheep… to show how much joy there is in heaven when just one sinner repents.
    • Then Jesus gives the parable of the lost coin… again to show the value of a sinner being saved… of the lost being found.
    • And these two parables set up the parable of the prodigal son. Because neither of those two parables explains the pharisees roll in someone’s salvation.
    • But when we come to the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus is know reintroducing the pharisee into the story.
  • You see there are three players in the story of the prodigal son, there is the Father… who represents God, the creator of all humanity.
  • Then there is the younger son, this younger son would be equivalent of the lost coin or lost sheep in the prior two parables. We get a much more in depth look at this son, and how he became lost in this parable. He is called the prodigal son, the word prodigal meaning “someone who waists money on extravagant living”.
  • But there is also this third actor, the older son. The older son represents the Pharisee. And the older son, while he stock by the Father’s side the whole story, by the end of it… the older son is kind of looking like a big fat jerk face… isn’t he?
    • And remember when you read this story that the audience, originally, was the pharisees… it was the pharisees to whom Jesus was speaking… This message, as much as it is a message of hope and love and grace… is also a message of rebuke.
    • And… as Deacon Jared pointed out last week, Jesus really did not have a hard time beating up on these ol’ pharisees. He would often let them have it, mostly because of there extreme levels of pride.
  • So there you have it, the three actors in the story, the Father, the Older Son, and the Prodigal Younger son.
  • And for today, I want to focus on just the younger son and his relationship with his Father.

Show Title Slide

Point One: God is not in your Debt, His gifts are not owed to you.

Luke 15:12 ESV  And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.

  • Let me interpret what this young son said to his father…
    • He said “I WISH YOU WERE DEAD! I WANT MY INHERITANCE NOW! GIVE IT TO ME NOW!”
    • The son didn’t say “Father, if it’s ok, would you please allow me to have my inheritance.”
    • Nor did he say “Father, give me a bit of my inheritance, if you would, that I might learn to manage it and grow it”.
    • No, he said “GIVE ME WHAT IS MINE AND GIVE IT TO ME NOW!”
  • Now I want to be clear y’all, the Father owed this son, this prodigal, this little brat… NOTHING!
    • The Father didn’t owe him a dime! That’s no how inheritance works. It’s not a check that you can cash when you well please. It is not a bank that you can make withdraws from. THAT’S NOT YOUR MONEY! It may become your money if your father dies… but that is HIS money for Him to do with as He pleases.
  • “Father give me the share of the property that’s coming to me!” WHAT?! WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO? You have no share. You have nothing! You are owed nothing.
  • Of Luke 5:12, Matthew Henry says this:

He said to his father, proudly and pertly enough, “Father, give me” – he might have put a little more in his mouth, and have said, Pray give me, or, Sir, if you please, give me, but he makes an imperious demand – “give me the portion of goods that falleth to me; not so much as you think fit to allot to me, but that which falls to me as my due.” Note, It is bad, and the beginning of worse, when men look upon God’s gifts as debts. Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Bible

  • Yet we see it all the time in the faith, people who make demands of God.
    • Demands of healing
    • Demands of blessing
    • Demands of a certain kind of lifestyle
    • A certain kind of comfort
  • They take and they twist scripture to try to force God into giving them something…
    • And whenever people do this I always think… WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO FOOL? GOD?! HE WROTE THE BOOK!
  • Let me tell you it is a bad thing, and not at all faith, when you start making demands of God.
    • God owes you nothing.
    • He doesn’t owe you salvation.
    • He doesn’t owe you blessings.
    • He doesn’t owe you comfort.
    • He doesn’t owe you grace.
    • He doesn’t owe you justice.
    • He doesn’t owe you mercy.
    • He owes you nothing! He gives you these things not because they are owed to you, but because He loves you.

Isaiah 45:9 ESV  “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’?

  • GOD MADE YOU! You and I are but pots made by a Potter.
    • How ridiculous would it be for a pot to demand handles from the potter.
    • That’s how it is when we make demand’s of God.
  • Isaiah says “WOE TO YOU” if you do this.
    • In other word’s its bad, and the begging of worse, when you start making demands of God.
  • To understand the worse, we have to understand some of the possible motives of this younger son. That brings us to point two.

Point Two: Focus on the Temporary Leads to Ruin

Luke 15:12-13 ESV  And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.  (13)  Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.

  • Here in verse 13 we see part of the motive this young prodigal had… he didn’t want to wait.
    • It only took him a couple of days to gather his things and to get out of his Father’s house to start spending that money.
  • He wasn’t supposed to get that money until his Father died… but he wasn’t about to wait that long. He wanted it now!
  • He was focused on temporary pleasure. He wanted his blessing now! And how did that turn out? It turned out with him squandering all of his money in reckless living.
    • In other words, his bad decision of demanding his inheritance from his Father is now turning worse… and things will only get worse from here for him, until he returns to the Father.
  • Now I think this is easy to understand when we are looking at the life of a young and reckless prodigal son. But yet it seems so many miss the spiritual application.
  • Remember Jesus is making a spiritual point, this is a parable, and the take away here is “Trust God with the Timeline”.

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  (9)  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

  • God’s thoughts and ways are not your thoughts or ways. He thinks differently and operates differently than all of us.
    • He is perfect, we are not. His ways are perfect, our ways are not. His thoughts are perfect, our thoughts are not.
  • What does that mean when it comes to making demands of God… it means that yes, God may have promised you blessings.
    • But just because God promised them to you does not mean He owes them to you.
    • And while God will keep His promises, He always does, He is not bound to a timeline that you create in your own head.
    • He will fulfil His promise in due time, yet again, we make demands. I want my blessing now, I want my healing now, I want my blessings now, I want it all NOW!
  • Listen church, your calling will be fulfilled in due season.
    • That prophecy over your life, it will come to pass when God says it will.
    • The blessings promised to you, they are coming, it is not up to you when!
  • I mean you understand that if you never get that blessing, that healing, that whatever… that you will get it in due time when you are in Paradise forever.
  • So please be careful, don’t demand your blessings now, because you will SQUANDER them.
    • I have seen it happen so many times, it is so sad. People demand there blessings from God, God gives it to them, and they end up broke, angry, addicted, divorced, faithless… whatever.
    • They got everything they wanted, and it led to their ruin.
  • Now finally, I want to point out point three…

Point Three: Making Demands of God is the Darkest kind of Pride

Luke 15:12-13 ESV  And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.  (13)  Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.

  • You notice, don’t you, that when the son got what he wanted from the Father, the first thing he did was leave the presence of his Father… do you see that?
    • He didn’t want the father to know what he was doing with this money. He didn’t trust the father with this money.
  • Obviously the father was doing something right, because the father had built a great deal of wealth…
    • Why not trust the father with the money, why not trust the father with making investments and running his business… if the prodigal had done so the inheritance likely would have grown.
    • But what the son did in turn was say “I want this money out of your hand, dad, and into my hand”
    • “I want these possessions out of your control and given into my control”
    • “I don’t trust you with my blessings. Now it’s turn for me to do with them as I will”.
  • One might say “God promised me prosperity therefore I demand a new car”
    • What is really being said is “I don’t trust God to properly prosper me, therefore I am going to tell Him how to prosper me. I don’t trust God with that blessing, I want it on my terms and I want it now!”
  • Another might say “God promised me peace, and to be at peace I need a wife, so I am going to go find me a wife right now”
    • But what they are really saying is “I don’t trust that God will properly provide this blessing of peace, so I am taking things into my own hands.”
  • This kind of thinking is the darkest kind of pride… thinking “I know better than God, let me be in control”.
  • You know who wanted to be in control? A little angle named Lucifer… how did that work out for him?
  • You know who wanted to be in control? A little girl named eve and a little boy named Adam… how did that work out for them?
  • If you start demanding blessings from God, the worst thing that can happen is that He give them to you, because you will most certainly squander them. And it will be the begging of your destruction and fall.

Proverbs 16:18-19 ESV  Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.  (19)  It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.

Conclusion

  • What does this mean for all of us? What is our take away?
  • It means that God is good, and we can trust Him.
  • It means that there is a future for us, a future in heaven where there is no sickness, sin, pain, or tears.
  • It means that we can trust God, regardless of our circumstances.
  • And maybe you have acted like the prodigal at times, don’t fret… spoiler alert, the prodigal turns back to his Father and the Father welcomes him and restores him with arms wide open!

GOSPEL CALL

ALTAR CALL

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