Sunday Morning Podcast March 28, 2021. Bro. Dave Goble.
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This potentially will be the last of our series of The Prodigal Son. As this is also Palm Sunday, we will consider how Jesus made His triumphal entry into the city, of the last week of His life as we bring this message. The story of Christ and His resurrection; try and think of this parable in those terms, the story of Christ and His connection with humanity, which really is the story of the resurrection. We find that represented in this parable. We are going to be reading about the older son, not the prodigal son, but his older brother. Both of them were invited to ” a resurrection.” That will come to a fruition for us, in the moment of the cross and the empty tomb. This thought is also represented in many other stories in the bible. of lives separated from God, and then connected. Although the prodigal had lived a wasted life, the older one also, though not wasteful, was on some level also disconnected. Whether our lives are going well, or not, we can be still connected to God.
TEXT: LUKE: 15:11-24
11 And he said, A certain man had two sons.
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
What follows from here, we’ve read a couple of times in the past two messages, how the younger son took his inheritance that his father gave him, and spent it on the vanity of life on all that he thought would bring him pleasure, but when he got to the end of it, he realized “I’ve wasted my inheritance.” If we’re fortunate we also will realize that we’ve wasted our inheritance at a younger age. Sometimes even at a very young age, we realize we’ve wasted our inheritance. We realize that what we’ve been given is not sufficient to make me happy. Realizing, “I’m not fulfilled, not content.” Hopefully this will happen at a younger age, and not well into our later years before we realize “I’ve wasted my inheritance!” This prodigal man found himself in the hog pit, having spent all, no longer having anything to attract friends to be “the center of the show.” You can sometimes find yourself alone; sometimes feeling alone even in the crowd. It’s then the mercy of God that helps us to realize that we’ve wasted our lives, and that there has to be more than this. This here is where the young man finds himself tending the swine for the keeper, while in that country. And we know that he finds himself tending the very animals he’s been taught that is unclean, by his religion. It was the worst it could get for him, filling his belly with the husks meant for the pigs, a truly wasted life! The same as when we might think can fill our lives with our plans that doesn’t involve God. Trying to spend something that we really don’t have, when we do that. Constructing a life that doesn’t include God! At the end of the day, all that will be spent with nothing left. Hopelessness.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
And that’s how this young man found himself, and came to himself saying “I’ll go to my father.”
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
And his father didn’t wait but ran out to meet him, embraced him. Then he began to have a party.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
When bringing him back to his house, he put a ring on him, a symbol of authority of God, a new garment being a symbol of righteousness, shoes on his feet, giving safety and for a life that was no longer barren and desperate.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
And that’s where we’re picking up the story this morning.
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
The title of my thoughts this morning; “I want you both at my party.” Not just the younger who was the prodigal, but for the older one also!
25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
Two times now, the father has gone out to find a son, that had some kind of problem. The father did not wait inside the house for evidence of repentance, before he would receive either son. It seems the father looked for an opportunity to help his children cope. So he went out to meet his elder son, while this wonderful party was making merry with the fatted calf and rejoicing for the younger son. And the father went because the elder son needed to also be there, for it was also for him! The party was for the whole family to rejoice! Again at verse 28; And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him., Consider yourself, have I also been sometime the elder son? Or were there times that I felt like the prodigal? Yes? The elder son, had stayed home, and not gone out into sin. So try to place yourself into this story.
29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this, thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou has killed for him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again, and was lost, and is found.
Three things I want to discuss; 1) Why was the older son angry?, 2) Who is the Pharisee today, and who is the prodigal today? This parable is addressed to 3 audiences. To the publican and sinner. A symbol of the prodigal and a wasted life. Each of us has been, or could be, one of these types. There was the Pharisee, (the religious sinner). present or not, finding fault, doubting, wandering. And 3) was audiences of the disciples of Christ. Jesus was speaking to one of these 3 audiences. We find ourselves in one of them. This morning we are going to speak to the audience of the Pharisees. So why was this elder son angry? In the 27-30 verses, the elder son pointed out that his brother had wasted everything (ruining and making mockery of the family name), but he had not, but yet the fatted calf was given for the prodigal, and nothing had been done like for him, the faithful one. So the elder son, potentially could have felt that it would have been better if his younger brother had not come home, feeling like the prodigal had lost all sense of decency.
Part of this message is to get us to put ourselves in this story, to see the waste of life most have been in. Also being reminded of how the father felt. I don’t ever see the father feeling the shame about one of his children. Rather we see him running to the younger son, but running to him in haste! As soon as the father saw the attitude of repentance. But what we don’t see is the father going to the hog pit, to beg his son to come out of it. We also don’t see the father deciding to get in the hog pit with the son to prove his love. For unless the father represents a kind of holiness, and righteousness, then this story has no meaning! Today the world would say that the father was judgmental, self righteous, because he waited for his son to show first signs of repentance. Keep in mind Jesus starts many of his messages with repentance. Repentance is what opens the door for us to get back to God! So we don’t see the father ignore the repentance, but discerning of the sons, “where is your heart?” “If there’s something in your heart that I can use, then I will come out to meet you.”
His elder son was working hard in the fields for years, not only doing his own work, but that also of his brother’s. The elder son humanly could have thought that his brother was pretending repentance while coming back to still claim his rights as the son. The thought here is to examine ourselves to not pretend that we also don’t sometimes think this way. You know it happens! So to the brother this realistically made no sense! His father who had not thrown a party ever for him, now does so for his brother who just shows up after wasting all he had. I don’t understand my father! But that’s not how the father felt. It’s still the father’s house! Wherever the church is, it’s still The Father’s house! Not our house! We don’t get to make the rules, the attitude, and the motive! The Father gets to! And for those who have wasted our inheritance, and that would be ALL of us! The danger is that someone who is on “the inside of the Church, gets to make the judgements” concerning those who are on the outside. Or even judging one who was inside, but is now outside. Jesus called this self righteousness “filthy rags.” That’s not how the Father handles this! Instead when the Father sees an attitude of repentance, He goes out to meet the one who repents and brings him in!
I Want You Both At My Party!