March 6, 2016
Introduction: Today we have the familiar parable of the “Loving Father” otherwise known as the ‘Prodigal Son’. We begin on a Sabbath day when after service Jesus is going over to the house of a Pharisee for dinner. He is confronted by a man in need of healing and he asks is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not? Then upon entering the house he notes how everyone vies for the best seat at dinner and warns them they should have the humility to take the least desirable seat. Jesus goes on to urge his fellows only to invite those who cannot repay them. He concludes this section with a response to a guest who states: “blessed is anyone who eats at the banquet table at the Kingdom of God!”
I) After a brief discussion on carrying one’s cross Jesus shares about God’s love for the lost! He shares with them about a man who has two sons. The younger wants his portion of the estate, about 1/3 to use as he wishes. He goes off and spends all his money on himself doing just as he pleases, until a great famine arises.
II) He runs out of money and has to indenture himself out as a slave to a pig farmer. He then goes out to feed the pigs and yearns to eat the husks they are given since he is so hungry. Finally, he comes to his senses and decides that he would be better off as a slave to his father than he was starving in this distant land.
III) As he goes toward home he decides he will tell his father that he is no longer worthy to be called his son and he will beg him on his knees to be allowed the chance to be one of his slaves! Even though he is a long way off his father sees him and runs to him embracing him. His son pushes him away falling to his knees begins his already rehearsed lines: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son”. But his father ignored this and told a slave to go and get his best robe, the family ring, and sandals, and go and kill the fatted calf for this son of mine was dead and is now alive!” They have a banquet in his honor, music is playing and everyone is in a festive mood. When his elder brother coming in from the field inquires what is going on and is told he is indignant. His father rushes out of the party to him to urge him to go inside. The brother cannot understand what his crazy father is doing! Does he not understand what this no good son of his has done!?