7691 - Lost Son

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Its such a joy to have you join us today as we consider the parable of the lost son, found in Luke 15.

Listen as I read Luke 15 verses 11-24.

Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, `Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.

"Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

"When he came to his senses, he said, `How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'

So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

"The son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. ' "But the father said to his servants, `Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.

Although an inheritance is not usually received until the death of the parent, in this parable the younger son impulsively asks the father for his portion while the Father is healthy and productive.

Although unusual, the father agreed to divide the estate. By law the older son received two-thirds and the younger son one-third.

After receiving his inheritance the younger son got together all he had and left for a foreign country.

He squandered all his wealth in a loose and wild manner of living. The wealth was soon gone. He was broke, bankrupt.

Just think, this Jewish lad had turned his back on his family, had left the home country, and had lived a life in violation of the faith in which he was raised. He had broken every rule.

But he had been his own boss. Then the bottom dropped out. Not only did he spend all his wealth, but the economy of his adopted country experience a severe famine.

This young man who had lived so high for awhile, now could not even scavenge food from the garbage to satisfy his hunger.

Then he hired himself out to tend pigs. Pigs were unclean to the Jews. He was desperate.

He ultimately reached the depths where he would gladly have eaten some of the pigs food, but he could not obtain any of the pods, so his hunger kept gnawing away in his body.

Finally he came to his senses. He remembered the plentiful supply back on the homestead. Even his father’s hired hands ate well and had food left over.

He though, “Let me leave this starving place. I will go back and repent to my father and ask for a job on his place as a hired hand.” Then he set out on the return trip.

The father had kept an eye on the road. He longed for his son to return. One day he saw his son in the distance, on the road. With compassion he ran to his son, hugged and kissed him, then ordered the servants to change his clothes and dress him up. He would be able to get out of his rags.

Then the celebration began. A feast was prepared. The lost son had been found.

We see in this parable the passion of a caring father for his lost son. God is like this caring father. He is delighted to welcome sinners with open arms. How rich and encompassing is God’s love. His grace is extended without measure.