THE PRODIGAL SON
by Cooper Abrams
1. Few passages in the Bible are as well known and few have done more good to the souls of men.
2. These verses deal with a sinner or prodigal with the emphasis on restoration.
That is where God's emphasis is. Some mistakenly may think that addressing sin and the sinner is an act of condemnation. However, nothing could be further from the truth!
No one should ever be offended when they understand that God's condemnation of Sin is a called to repentance and restoration.
You do not have to keep passing judgment on a condemned man. Once is all it takes. It is God that has condemned the sinner.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. JOHN 3:18
I. THE FIRST TRUTH THAT STANDS OUT IS THE AMAZING LOVE OF GOD FOR THE SINNER.
A. Let's put things in proper perceptive:
1. Jesus said He came not to being the righteous to repentance, but sinners. Matt. 9:13
2. All are sinners! In the matter of sin all are guilty! You, me - everyone.
B. However, to admit that is to be in the very best place you can be.
C. Note that the self-righteous, Pharisees and scribes (those who claimed to know God - but didn't) were greatly offended at Jesus.
1. They murmured: He receives sinners and eats with them!!
2. To that this sinner cries, Hallelujah!!!!!
D. Jesus then used a parable: A story used to illustrate a truth, to explain why he did so.
1. Parable of the lost sheep: The emphasis of the shepherds actions indicate the great love and concern for every single sheep!
2. He had 99, why worry over one who strayed???
3. Why? God sees each of us as valuable.
4. Note that He seeks the Lost Sheep
5. Note the rejoicing V6, 9-10 when the sheep is found.
E. What Jesus was saying to these religious but lost leaders was....He cares for all alike. With God there is no showing of partiality. At the heart of what was upsetting the Scribes and Pharisee was Christ's preaching of the sins of men.
1. Beginning in Chapter 13 He addressed the problem.
13:1-9 - need of repentance -He said "unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
13:10-17 - He addressed hypocrisy.
13:18-35 - Preached of the coming Kingdom of God. V24..Strive to enter the narrow gate, for many I SAY, will seek to enter and will not be able. Warned of the tragedy of those who would be lost because the refused to believe and receive Him. He said, V28 "there would be weeping and gnashing of teeth", when the lost see the saved in the kingdom themselves thrust out.
14:1-6 - Note the Pharisees & lawyers watched everything He did. Inflexible people who insisted that the law be kept to the letter.
14:7-11 - He addressed the proud and puffed up. "He whoever exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted"
14:12-14 - He encouraged the faithful. He said no not give a dinner or supper and invite your friends and relatives and the rich....invite the poor!
Why? The poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind can not repay you. V14, says you will be rewarded at the resurrection of the just (saved).
14:15-24 - He addressed those that were indifferent to serving the Lord. The master gave a great supper, (marriage supper of the lamb). He ask many people but they were too busy to come. One said he had to go see a piece of land that he brought, another had to tend to his cattle, another had married.
Note who the Lord then invited to the great supper. Those in the highways, hedges and compel them to come in, the poor, the maimed, the lame and the blind.
All these are poor people who readily accepted the Master's invitation because they knew and accepted that they were needy.
14:25:34 - He addressed the indulgent and selfish people. V33, "So like wise, who so ever of you does not forsake ALL that he has cannot be My disciple." He further, said that those who would not give their all like salt that has lost it flavor and it was not fit for the land or the dung hill, but was thrown out.
Dear friends this was the context of Chapter 15. Jesus clearly was warning man that he was a sinner....BUT he as just a pointed and just as clear in offering salvation to all who would repent and come to God.
II. THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON. V11-24
A. Here was a man like us all. He desired the world and what it offered.
1. He thought it would bring pleasure and good.
2. So he took all he had and went after it.
3. For the man, woman boy or girl who seeks after the world...it cost you everything.
4. It was clearly a mistake, his father knew it, but he did not interfere. God gives a will and will not violate yours.
B. He paid a great price for his pleasure.
1. Cost him his home and family.
2. Cost him any of his true friends.
3. Cost him all his pride.
4. Cost him all his material possessions. (what a paradox that is)
5. Cost him his inheritance.
6. Cost him all his grand plans for his life.
Yes, it was very expensive. He thought he was doing right, he thought he was all right....but he was blind to the reality of what the course of life he had taken would bring.
C. His good times were short lived. Sure they were fun while they lasted....but the problem was they never last.
D. He still tried to help himself....went to the hog pen. That's where it always winds up. Eating with the hogs.
1. We think money solves problems...no it makes them worst. The money people are a proud lot, and most are self seeking. You need not but turn on the TV to see the life style the rich and famous live. Most die early, of AIDS and diseases brought on by a live or abuse of their bodies. That had a ball killing themselves. Url Brinner, died of lung cancer, but before he died he recorded and aired on TV an appeal to folks not to smoke.
2. He did all he could, yet he was still hungry!!
3. Have you ever been truly hungry? He was starving to death.
Spiritually, the world is starving for satisfaction, peace and for fulfillment. Yet, most take the road that leads to the garbage pile, and the hog pen. Most can not see that far...but God does and warns in his Word.
Yet, God seeks to tell men everywhere of His love and mercy. There is peace in knowing and being a child of God. That is the only place it is found.
III. PRODIGAL SON --- HE REMEMBERED HOME!
A. Sure he had failed. Sure he was ashamed.
1. But his failure..made reality clear.
2. He was no longer under the delusion that the world gave peace and satisfaction.
3. His mind was swept clear of the deception that Satan places there...
4. He realized how precious is home and abiding in his fathers house.
B. With his thinking now cleared...he arose from the hog pen...came home to his father.
1. What did his father do? Scold him? Rebuke Him?
2. No He with open arms rushed to him, hugging him and kissing him. How happy was the father!!!
3. The son confessed...Father he said, I've sinned against heaven and you. I'm not worthy to be called a son.
4. What was the father's second reaction? Bring the best robe, put it on him, put on his finger a ring and sandals on his feet, kill the fatted calf and let us rejoice and be happy.
"for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found"