The Story of the Lost Sons

Luke 15:11-32 The story told by Jesus about two sons who are part of their father's household.
It is a story about our hearts and the desire God has for relationship.
It is the story about our Father's extravagant love.

The younger son (rebellion)

He wanted his inheritance. He took it to go off and satisfy his own desires.

He valued his rights more than the blessings of relationship. Under the law he could have been stoned for such rebellion but the father gave him his share of the inheritance. In his heart he had stopped being his father's son and took control of his own life.

After a while the money ran out and eventually his 'gimme' attitude turned into 'change me'.

He decided to go back home and seek forgiveness.

THE FATHER RAN OUT TO MEET HIM!

The older son (religion)

He too received his inheritance.

He continued to work on the farm and when his brother returned he was very angry!

The apparent injustice poured out - "I've always worked hard for you, you've never given me anything!"

He was more concerned with fairness and being right than with relationship.

THE FATHER CAME OUT TO MEET HIM!

The father (relationship)

The father could have withheld the inheritance from the younger son.

He could have kept him at home - but would he have kept his heart?

He let him go but we know he watched and waited until the day his son returned. He had a robe waiting to cover his son's filth and shame - cf Gen 3:21.

He had a ring to give to his son - giving him back the family's authority.

He never stopped being a father. Unconditional love was ready to welcome the son back into the family.

Our Heavenly Father demonstrates unconditional love and is always ready to come out and meet us!

The father in the story was lavish, extravagant and almost irresponsible with his love - just like our Heavenly Father!

The sons were slaves

The younger son was a slave to sin. In his heart, though, he knew he needed to come home. He needed to come back to the father and ask forgiveness in order to find the unconditional love which would bring his heart home.

The older son was a slave to the law. He worked for everything and judged everything by its performance. He did not know the true love of his father. He too needed to come home and find unconditional love from the father.

The older son also shows us the nature of a spiritual orphan. One loved sin, the other loved the law - what they both needed was the law of love. The father never put them out of his heart.

Who are we like?

Do we live outside Father's house? Are we trying to earn our way in through what we do, rather than receiving the gift of relationship with Father through Jesus.

Are we like the younger son?

Are there areas of sin we need to bring to the cross?

Are we willing to humble ourselves and come back to Father, seeking forgiveness from Him?

Are we willing to lay our desires to one side and seek intimacy with Father?

There is a Father waiting for you with open arms. There is a robe and a ring waiting for you.

Are we like the older son?

Is there an emptiness in our heart that causes us to strive to find value and acceptance?

Are we judgemental and grace-less? Do we want to be 'right'?

There is a Father waiting for you with open arms. There is a robe and a ring waiting for you.

All of us can step back inside Father's love. He always loves us. Nothing we can ever do can take us outside of His love. Rom 8:35-39.

We all need a homecoming

John 14

v1-3 There is a place prepared in Father's presence for each one of us.

v23 "My Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him"

Jesus became the way to the Father. The Father is the destination!
Jesus showed us how to be the perfect son - he lived in his Father's will and presence. He only did and said what his Father did and said. He lived to please his Father.

The Father loves us with the same love as He loves Jesus! (John 17:23).

All of us need to find our home with the Father - to receive His unconditional love that does not depend on what we may have done or not done. The emptiness of our heart can be filled with Father's love. We can lay down the striving and the struggle and find our rest in Him. Our relationship with Father can be renewed today! It is a free gift of grace.

Slaves or sons - which are we?

A slave points to a master but a son reveals a father!

IF ANYONE LOVES ME, HE WILL OBEY MY TEACHING. MY FATHER WILL LOVE HIM, AND WE WILL COME TO HIM AND MAKE OUR HOME WITH HIM. John 14:23 (NIV)