Though we know these parables speak of sinners (Luk 15:1-2), they also speak of people who were found but became lost. The Prodigal decided he would become lost. He consciously made the decision. There was nothing anyone could say or do to stop the process. Something out there looked better than what was in the church. There are many believers who decide to become lost. It is concerning this today’s prodigal son lesson speaks.
PARABLES OF JESUS
By Pastor Delbert Young
The Prodigal Son part 2
The Prodigal Son part 2
Scriptures: Luke 15:11-32
Video part 2
In Luke chapter fifteen, we have three parables given about something lost and then found. We are told of the “lost sheep” (Luk 15:4-7). We are told of the “lost coin” (Luk 15:8-10). And we are told of the “lost son” called the Prodigal (Luk 15:11-32). The word Prodigal means “A recklessly extravagant consumer.”
Though we know these parables speak of sinners (Luk 15:1-2), they also speak of people who were found but became lost. The sheep wondered away from the shepherd and the flock and became lost. The sheep did not remain close to the shepherd or the flock and became lost. The sheep looked around one day and something inside told the sheep it was lost. There are many believers who wonder away. They do not stay close to the Lord nor to the people. They wonder away. The coin was lost, but didn’t know it was lost. It was in the house, but lost. It was not until a sweeping and cleaning and rearranging of things was accomplished the coin was found. There are many believers who are lost, but do not realize they are lost. They are physically in the church house, but at the same time lost. Hopefully one day a sweeping and rearranging will reveal they are lost. Then there is the prodigal. This person decided he would become lost. He consciously made the decision to become lost. There was nothing anyone could say or do to stop the process. He was simply going to leave. Something out there looked better than what was in the church. There are many believers who for some reason decide they will leave. It is concerning this today’s lesson speaks.
I. The process
A. Receiving his portion
Luke 15:11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
Luke 15:12 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.
1. the younger of them
Jesus said the younger of them said to his father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. My commentaries have problems with the young believer’s boldness as he seemingly demands his portion. I see the young believer knew who he was and came boldly before the throne to obtain (Heb 4:16). Initially we note the younger would be the seemingly most immature of the two. However, a younger believer is the most expectant. Have you ever noticed how young believers seem to get so many of their prayers answered? It’s not only because they “just got saved.” It’s because they come expecting. Older believers tend to simply accept things “as are” and may never receive their portion.
There was no discussion about his leaving at this time. He didn’t say he wanted his portion so he could leave. He simply wanted his portion or blessing. I observe this often. I watch people come into the kingdom and be blessed. I watch their lives change. I see their families change. I hear the great testimonies. It appears they are happy and excited and will serve the Lord forever.
2. he divided unto them his living
The inheritance was divided unto them. It was not only the younger son who received his portion. The elder son had his portion also. He merely did not use it (15:29). Isn’t it wonderful the father divides to all of us all he has? You have your portion and I have my portion.
Luke 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
Luke 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
Luke 15:15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
Luke 15:16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
1. took his journey
Though the believer seems to be blessed and happy, not many days after they sometimes make the decision to go off on their own journey. There is nothing anyone can do about it. Mom cannot stop them. Dad cannot stop them. God cannot stop them, and will not stop them. I call them on the phone. You call them. Nothing anyone says or does will change the decision to leave. Sometimes a reason is given such as they are upset with someone or something. Usually there is no real reason. They are merely going.
I have had some of the strangest experiences concerning this. People have literally told me how I blessed their lives. They have told me they have never learned more about the Bible with me in two years than they had learned all their lives. They have said how much their children had changed and been blessed. They say, “But we feel it’s time for us to leave.” I have been given all sorts of reasons why they are leaving. I have heard reasons from I made them mad to their spouse does not like me. None of those are the real reason. They simply want to stop giving into the kingdom of God and take their journey.
What happens on this journey? We note three serious effects.
a. into a far country wasted his substance with riotous living
We attempt to stay in contact and ask about those who leave. We find they are in a far country spiritually. They have gone a long way from the father. Often there is a waste ofsubstance and riotous living. Too often financial problems develop and the home suffers. Things begin to go south. They try new things. They attempt to make new friends. Nothing really works for any length of time.
Jesus used the term riotous living. Riotous living for one may not be the same for another. To some it would be harlots and partying. To me it might be spending all my money on a large boat I could not afford. To others perhaps it would be spending money on cars or houses. Usually, as did with the Prodigal, another job is necessary to survive. We see this all the time. The body then suffers for lack of rest. The home suffers for lack of parents. Of course the kingdom suffers for lack of a member.
Even at this stage, no one can say anything or do anything to bring them back. In fact, it seems they do not want us to know anything about them and they attempt to keep their situations very secret. Often they will even tell how they are so blessed.
Notice the father allowed them to go and allowed them to stay gone. He will not force us to serve him or come back to him.
b. joined himself to a citizen of that country
Sadly, those who leave often attach to some of the strangest people. Sometimes they begin attaching even before they leave. They join themselves to citizens of that country. They attach to people heading down the same road they are heading. There they are with the pigs of the earth and do not realize it.
c. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
Things go bad and, when it seems it could not get worse, a mighty famine hits their lives. In fact, the mighty famine did not arise until things had gotten bad. We can pray and beg God to bring them back, but they are not going to change until the famine comes and they want. It sounds mean, but the way we should pray is the famine come quickly. The sooner the famine the sooner the return. The prodigal did not think of the father when things were good. It was when things turned bad he remembered the goodness of the father.
Luke 15:17 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!
Luke 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
Luke 15:19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
Luke 15:20 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.
Luke 15:21 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.
Luke 15:22 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:
Luke 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
Luke 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
1. And when he came to himself
We are not told exactly how long this process took. We do know it took some time. We read it as though it were only a few days, but most likely it was years. It’s been my experience at any rate. Usually it takes years to come to ourselves. Isn’t this sad? We refuse to humble ourselves and swallow our pride. We say something like, “We will work it out.” Actually, we would rather stay with the hogs than say we were wrong.
a. he came to himself, he said
The prodigal reasoned with himself. He talked to himself. He said to himself, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. There is nothing wrong with talking to ourselves especially when it brings us back to God.
The prodigal made the decision to swallow his pride and go back to the Father. He knew he would need to humble himself and confess he had sinned. The lost began heading home when he came to himself.
2. But when he was yet a great way off
The father saw him coming and had compassion when he saw the child coming home. People think the Lord has compassion on them when they are far from God. This is not true. God does love them when they are far from him, but the compassion is not released until they come home.
Though the father could do nothing to stop his leaving, he could do everything to make the return special. There was no condemnation. Not one word of rebuke was given. It was obvious the prodigal was welcome and missed. The prodigal should always be welcomed and missed.
3. they began to be merry
The best of everything is provided by the father for his children. The best robe was put on him. The best ring was placed on his hand. The best shoes were placed on his feet. The best fatted calf was killed. The father provides for us with the best.
The father said, For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. Can we imagine the rejoicing there would be if our child or one of our children were raised from the dead? This is how the father feels when one lost is found. We should rejoice when a lost person comes to the Lord. We should see it as a dead person raised.
II. The elder brother
Luke 15:25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
Luke 15:26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
Luke 15:27 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.
Luke 15:28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
Luke 15:29 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:
Luke 15:30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
Luke 15:31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
Luke 15:32 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.
The elder son actually represents the Pharisees in this parable. However, we can learn truths from his reaction to another being blessed.
he heard musick and dancing
He heard music and dancing. This is loud dancing. Some folks have problems with dancing “in church.” They say it is not in the New Testament. I ask, “What is this we read here?” If at no other time, we should dance and rejoice when the lost are found. The father was inside. The wine of the Holy Spirit was inside. The servants were inside. The angry brother was outside.
he was angry, and would not go in . . . as soon as this thy son was come . . .
Why was the elder son angry? Lo, these many years do I serve thee. It seems to me he was bitter because he had not experienced what the younger son had experienced. Perhaps he did not want to experience it, but to him it was not right he had gone to church and obeyed while his younger brother did the opposite. What angered him was his younger brother was not judged. He said, Thy son . . . which hath devoured thy living with harlots . . . He had not experienced it and wanted his brother judged because his brother had experienced it. It surely was not because he could not have had the fatted calf. The father told him all that I have is thine. He was simply judgmental. The father saw this and said, 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. The father said we should be glad, not judgmental. Your brother was lost and would have been judged, but now is found.
So many believers are judgmental. The entire foundation of a future great tribulation is found in judgmental Believers. There is something inside people wanting other people judged. This attitude is not of the father.
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