A VERY FORGIVING FATHER – LUKE 15:11-32
What’s the best thing about being a follower of Jesus?
The Younger Son’s Story
“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. “ (Luke 15:11-13)
“I don’t want you, I just want your stuff”.
“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.’” (Luke 15:14-19)
Repentance -> Relationship with the Father restored
“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.” ((Luke 15:20-24)
The Older Son’s Story
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’”
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
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. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’” (Luke 15:25-29)
|Relationship with Father||Broken over:|
|Younger son Luke 15:12||Broken||Money|
|Older Son Luke 15:29||Broken||Money|
Neither son loves the Father, they just want his stuff!
Two ways to miss out on Heaven, two ways to break our Father’s heart: immorality and morality!
The elder brother doesn’t want the Father’s unconditional love, he wants to earn his love.
“Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable:” (Luke 15:1-3)
Five signs you might be an elder brother.
i) Elder brothers get angry with God when life doesn’t go how they want it to.
ii) Elder brother sorts can’t cope with criticism
Round pegs in square holes?
iii) Elder brothers don’t come to church to enjoy God, they come to serve on a rota.
iv) Elder brothers spend a lot of time getting irritated with other people in church.
v) Elder brothers can’t forgive
Jesus our true elder brother.
I dare us to believe that we cannot earn God’s love.
I dare us to believe that our Heavenly Father loves us just because he made us.
And I dare us just to let go and enjoy our Heavenly Father. To stop trying to impress him, and just receive his love.
I want to know more:
- To read: The Prodigal God, by Tim Keller – on the bookstall and on Amazon.
- To listen online: The Prodigal God sermon series: