With two different groups of people standing around listening Jesus told was is by far His most famous parable. It has been called the parable of the lost son or the Prodigal son. But it speaks to both groups of people we learned about on Sunday - Servants and Sons.
Standing around Jesus that day was the Pharisees and the Sinners. One group thought they were good enough that God loved them and the other thought they were so bad God couldn't love them. So Jesus tells this Amazing story:
The Parable of the Lost Son11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “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. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 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.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “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. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
What an amazing story. The younger brother has wasted everything and decides to come home and ask His Father to let him be a servant. the Father runs to the son and throws his arms around him. He puts new clothes on him and has a celebration. There is no talk about him being a servant, because he is a son!!! Now there is another boy involved. He hears the music and gets mad. And where does he go? He tells his father "I have slaved". He never thought of himself as a son but a servant. So while the younger brother sins and thinks he is a servant the older brother lives like a servant trying to please and perform for the father.
They both made the mistake of forgetting their sonship. You and I are sons. God has adopted us into His family and if you have trusted Christ - You are God's Son. Stop living and acting like a servant - you are a son.
May we fully learn this truth and live it out.
Jesus Follower, Husband, Father, and Pastor and trying to keep those in the right order....