Please stand for the reading of God’s word
Luke 15:25-32 ESV “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.’”
Acts 10:34 ESV So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,
You may be seated
I added Acts 10:34 as a key verse to todays sermon because understanding it is vital to understanding the parable of the prodigal son.
You see the subject of this parable is not actually the younger son… this parable, at the end of the day, is not actually about the prodigal son.
Really what this parable is about is the older son and his response to the return of the prodigal.
We know this because of the context of this parable.
Everyone say context.
Look to your neighbor and say “Context”
Look at your computer screen and say “Context”.
Jesus was not telling this parable in a vacuum… He was telling it as part of a sermon he was preaching… and that sermon had a point.
And not only did that sermon have a point, but it had an audience.
The audience of this sermon is found in the first few verses of the chapter…
Luke 15:1-3 ESV Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. (2) And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” (3) So he told them this parable:
The audience was the pharisees, grumbling about Jesus receiving sinners,.
And the point of this sermon was to rebuke the pharisees for their ungodly and loving thinking.
Therefore when we look at this parable, we ought to look at it through those eyes… that it is a parable meant to rebuke the unloving and holier than thou crowds.
Sure there is much truth to be found in the early parts of the parable of the prodigal son, we preached three sermons on those parts… but today we get down to the brass tacks…
Today we get to the point of the sermon, and that point is this “God is not a respecter of persons, God does not show partiality”.
That’s why Acts 10:34 is so important. Let’s read it again, first in the ESV then in the King James because I love the way the KJV puts it…
Acts 10:34 ESV So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality,
Acts 10:34 KJV Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
Thus the title of today’s sermon is “Grace in all respects”
SHOW TITLE SLIDE
Grace in all respects… when God shows Grace does not consider a persons age, or race, or wealth, or poverty. He does not consider past sins or past acts of righteousness… instead he looks and sees someone who has come to His house, and to all people in God’s house He gives grace upon grace upon grace.
Grace in all respects… let’s pray
Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray Pray
Point One – Don’t be a Respecter of Grace
Point one this morning, “Don’t be a respecter of Grace”
Don’t be a respecter of Grace.
Does that mean you should not show grace respect, no of course not.
It means simply this… don’t look at God’s grace and judge it based on who it is given too.
Let me say that again so it stickes.
Don’t look at God’s grace and judge it based on who it is given to.
Don’t show God’s grace partiality. Don’t be excited when a long time saint receives grace, but be angry when a new believer receives grace…
This is exactly what the Older Son did… take a look…
Luke 15:25-28 ESV “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,
But he was ANGRY.
Why was the older son angry?
Was he angry because his lot in life had changed? No… he still remained a part of his fathers house.
Was he angry because his father had taken away his blessings? No… his blessings remained.
Was he angry because what was given to him was now taken away and given to someone else? No… nothing of his was taken away, he lost NOTHING by his younger brother being blessed.
So then why was he angry?
He was angry because his younger brother received mercy, and he didn’t feel that his younger brother deserved mercy.
Let me show you a real life example that happened to me a few years ago.
I went out to lunch with a friend… you guy’s remember what it was like to go out to lunch… those were the days…
I was out to lunch with a friend at a burrito place, y’all know it, Chipotle…
And I was still fairly new to town so I had only been there once or twice.
As we are in line, my friend busts out his Chipotle punch card and proudly proclaims that he had earned a free burrito.
AWESOME! I thought, free burritos are the best kind of burritos.
So we get through the line and he goes to pay for his burrito.
He proudly presents the card and they say “Thank you, your burrito is free today!”
My friend was beaming with pride.
Then I go to pay for my burrito, they ring it up and ask if I have a loyalty card. I say no. They say “It’s your lucky day! We are giving free burrito’s to first time members of our loyalty program, your burrito is free!”
Now I WAS BEAMING!
But my friends expression turned to anger and disgust.
He actually protested to the cashier…
WHAT?! BUT I HAD TO BUY 10 BURRITOS TO GET A FREE ONE! I HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THIS FOR MONTHS!
AND YOU JUST GIVE HIM ONE FOR SIGNING UP! THAT’S NOT FAIR.
Bro! You got a free burrito, right?!
And you were happy with that just a minute ago, right?
What has changed between then and now..
Do you still have you free burrito?
Did someone take it from you?
So you mean to tell me that the only reason you are angry is because your friend got a free burrito too?
Shouldn’t you be happy for me that I got a free burrito…
So in scenario one you get a free burrito and I pay for one and you are happy…
But in scenario two we both get a free buritto and you are angry?
I guess I see your point.
Now that really happened, I really had that conversation…
But how many of y’all know that I am not talking about burrito’s this morning?!
If God thinks someone is worthy to be blessed, then ought we think they are worthy to be blessed?
If God thinks someone is worthy of His fellowship, then ought we think they are worthy of ours…
But the older son didn’t even want to go in to the party! How high he must of thought of himself.
Listen saints… if someone is born again, they are your FAMILY…
They are in the house of God.
Do not think that you are too good to fellowship with them, even if they are poorer than you, or richer than you, or come from a different background or culture…
Least you think you are better than God!
And would you notice how quick the older brother is to bring up his younger brothers faults…
Luke 15:29-30 ESV 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!’
The older son says “But dad! I have been so good all these years, and remember all the filth he has done.”
This line of thinking is both prideful and blasphemous…
If you don’t know what blasphemous means let me tell you.
Blasphemy is to attribute something to God that is not of God.
For example, if you say God lied… that’s blasphemy, because God can not lie.
If you said God sinned, that is blasphemy, because God can’t sin.
If you say that God was not good, that’s blasphemy, because God is the very essence of God.
And if you ask God to remember someone else’s sins when that person has repented from those sins and asked for forgiveness, then that is blasphemy because the Bible says that God FORGETS OUR SINS.
Isaiah 43:25 ESV “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
Hebrews 8:11-12 ESV And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. (12) For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”
Acts 3:19 ESV Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out,
Blotted out! That means “Erased”, “Deleted”, and “Forgotten”.
The older son says to his father “FATHER THIS IS THE SON THAT DID THIS AND THAT AND THESE OTHER FILTHY SINS”
And it is as if the Father responds “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! WHAT NONSENSE ARE YOU SPEWING?! THIS IS MY SON WHO WAS DEAD AND IS NOW ALIVE WHO WAS LOST AND NOW FOUND!”
The father sees not the sin, but the repentance.
Now if the prodigal son was still in sin, we would be having a whole different conversation.
But that’s not the case here, the prodigal has returned and is prodigal no more, he is now the repentant son.
Therefore the father forgets all about the sins of his son, but now simply rejoices… My son is now alive, let me show him grace and mercy.
BUT THAT’S NOT FAIR, I EARNED MY FREE BURITO! Protests the older son, and how does the father respond… with grace…
Point Two – Grace is not a Respecter of Persons
Point two, grace is not a respecter of persons. Grace is not a respecter of persons.
Luke 15:28-32 ESV 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.’”
I want to show you something that I learned for the first time when preparing this sermon…
Look how the Father responds to the older son…
The older son says “I DON’T WANT TO BE IN THEIR WITH THAT SIN-BAG! HOW DARE YOU DO THIS FATHER”
And the Father very well could have said “fine, you ungrateful brat, servants, lock the gates and don’t let this spoiled little snot in to the party”.
The father had every right to do that… but he didn’t, because the father’s Grace is not a respecter of persons… it doesn’t show more grace to the recently saved then it does to those who have been saved for a lifetime…
God’s Grace is not a Respecter of persons.
Instead, we see the father entreating the older brother to come in…
The father begs the son, “Come in, celebrate! You too can eat of the fatted calf! You too can party with us! You are a part of this celebration! Come and enjoy it with us!”
But the son rejects the entreatment… the son rejects the fathers pleas…
Again, the father could have been harsh with the older son, “HOW DARE YOU REFUSE ME!” the father could have easily said…
But he didn’t.
The father gently rebuked the son and gently explained “You have all I have, you have never been without. Your brother returning doesn’t change that. But what is changed is this, a minute a go I had only one son and you had no brothers… now you have your brother back and I have my son back. THAT’S A REASON TO REJOICE!”
Your life has not gotten worse, in fact it has now gotten exceedingly better.
Your blessings have not diminished, if anything they have increased.
My grace for you is not less because I give grace to others… my grace is infinite it never runs out.
My friends problem at Chipotle was not a free burrito problem…
It was a perspective problem.
It was a pride problem.
He felt that he deserved a free burrito and no one else did.
Check your heart, church family… do you have a perspective problem…
Are there people that you believe don’t deserve the grace of God?
If so, it’s time to repent and give that pride over to Jesus…