Parable of the Prodigal Son Waiting for His Arrival by akgame


									The Parable of the Lost Son                            ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
     December 12, 2004 – Third Sunday in Advent
                                                          Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's
                                                       have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of
                                                       mine was dead and is alive again; he was
                              Parable                  lost and is found.' So they began to
                               of the                  celebrate.
                                                          "Meanwhile, the older son was in the field.
                            Prodigal Son               When he came near the house, he heard
                                                       music and dancing. 26So he called one of the
                                Luke 15:11-32
                                                       servants and asked him what was going on.
                                                          'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and
                           Return of
                        the Prodigal Son
                        oil on canvas 262 x206cm   2
                                                       your father has killed the fattened calf
                           1669 T he H ermitage
                                                       because he has him back safe and sound.'
   Jesus continued: "There was a man who               28
                                                          "The older brother became angry and
had two sons. 12The younger one said to his            refused to go in. So his father went out and
father, 'Father, give me my share of the               pleaded with him. 29But he answered his
estate.' So he divided his property between            father, 'Look! All these years I've been
them.                                                  slaving for you and never disobeyed your
   "Not long after that, the younger son got           orders. Yet you never gave me even a young
together all he had, set off for a distant             goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
country and there squandered his wealth in             30
                                                          But when this son of yours who has
wild living. 14After he had spent everything,          squandered your property with prostitutes
there was a severe famine in that whole                comes home, you kill the fattened calf for
country, and he began to be in need. 15So he           him!'
went and hired himself out to a citizen of             31
                                                          " 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always
that country, who sent him to his fields to            with me, and everything I have is yours.
feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach             32
                                                          But we had to celebrate and be glad,
with the pods that the pigs were eating, but           because this brother of yours was dead and
no one gave him anything.                              is alive again; he was lost and is found.’"
   "When he came to his senses, he said,
'How many of my father's hired men have                   December 12, 2004 – Third Sunday in Advent
food to spare, and here I am starving to
death! 18I will set out and go back to my
father and say to him: Father, I have sinned                                       Waiting
against heaven and against you. 19I am no                                             for
longer worthy to be called your son; make
me like one of your hired men.' 20So he got                                       His Arrival
up and went to his father.
"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                                                           1

his arms around him and kissed him.                    Theme of waiting – Sick of waiting !
   "The son said to him, 'Father, I have
                                                       long distance relationship…
sinned against heaven and against you. I am
no longer worthy to be called your son.[2] '           engagement…
   "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick!
Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a
We are all waiting for something… x-mas               We often think of being lost in very physical
The father waited for his son to return home.         terms that are quite visible. slide 2 The
                                                      younger son sinned in a very visible and
In my experience, whenever I’ve heard this            outward way.
story told ordinarily the main character and          running away, wild living, poor decisions,
focus of this story is the young son. He is           noticeable.
the one who demands his father’s money, he            He made decisions that everyone saw. He
is the one who leaves home and runs away.             misused his money, his time, his family,
He is the one who squanders the money and             friends, his own body. Even he himself
loses everything. He is the one who decides           knew that he was lost. There is something
to return to his father in repentance.                very clear-cut about his behavior. Then,
                                                      having seen that all this wayward behavior
In some ways, it would be easy to preach              has led to nothing but misery, the younger
about the younger son because he is such a            son came his senses, turned around, and
prominent figure. However, if you were                asked for forgiveness. It’s a classic human
listening when Stan preached two weeks                failure with a straightforward resolution.
ago, and I know that you all were, you will
remember him saying that the story of the                 Young
                                                          Younger Son                      Older Son
lost son should really be titled “the story of           Visible & Outward                Invisible & Inward
the lost sons”. I believe that the older son             •Running away                    •Jealousy
                                                         •Wild living                     •Resentment
was just as lost as the younger son.
                                                         •Poor decisions                  •Bitterness
slide 1                                                  •Noticeable                      •Anger

                                                       12 Dec'04         Waiting for His Arrival:
                                                                   The Son Who Waited for Wrong Thing          4

                   The Lost Sons                      However, the lostness of the older son is far
                                                      more difficult to understand. After all, how
               •Both sons were lost
                                                      can he be lost when he remains at home with
                                                      his father the entire time? His behavior

 12 Dec'04
                                                      remains the same. Well, we’re going to
                   Waiting for His Arrival:
             The Son Who Waited for Wrong Thing   3
                                                      discover that there are many ‘older sons’
                                                      who are lost while still at home.
The type of lostness we’re talking about         the older son than they can to the younger
here is characterized by jealousy,               son.
resentment, bitterness, and anger. This is an
invisible, inward lostness. Becoming lost
                                                        The younger son’s sin was
within oneself.                                                           start.
                                                         evident from the start.
                                                        The older son’s sin became
But how can we consider the older son to be                evident at the end.
lost? He did all the right things. He was
obedient, loyal, dutiful, hardworking.
                                                  12 Dec'04         Waiting for His Arrival:
People respected and admired him. He was                      The Son Who Waited for Wrong Thing   5

likely considered by the community to be a       I heard another story about two brothers.
model son. On the outside, the older son         Their names were Jared and Peter and they
was faultless.                                   were always arguing about something. One
                                                 day, when they were playing at home. Jared,
But the instant he sees his father embracing     the older of the two became irritated with his
the younger son… the moment he hears the         younger brother, Peter, and said to him.
music of the welcome home party, a dark          "You’re getting uglier and uglier every day."
power erupts from deep down within and it        The next day, Jared and Peter’s grandma
boils up to the surface. At that moment, we      came by for a visit. Without knowing what
find a very visible and physical resentfilled,   Jared had said to Peter the previous day, she
proud, unkind, selfish person.                   commented to Peter, "My oh my Peter,
slide 3                                          you’re getting to look more like your big
The younger son’s sin was evident from the       brother all the time." Peter just stood there
start but the older son’s sin became evident     grinning at Jared while Jared pouted
at the end.                                      thinking “it’s just not fair!!”
                                                 Can you relate to Jared?
Allow me to suggest, that perhaps in our
churches today, the churches that are filled     slide 4
with Christians. Perhaps there are many          This morning, I’d like to ask you here today,
more in these pews who can relate more to        who can you relate to more in the story of
                                                 the Prodigal Son? older or younger?
                                                      That was the issue for the older son – he was
                                                      living his life feeling more like his father’s
             Who can you relate to?                   slave than his father’s son.

    Younger Son                      Older Son        Another question I might ask is this?
                                                      Do you feel more like a servant of the King
                                                      – or child of the King?
 12 Dec'04         Waiting for His Arrival:
             The Son Who Waited for Wrong Thing   6

The younger son is the one with a dramatic
                                                                     Servant of the King
conversion experience – the one receiving
all the attention. While the older son is the
                                                                        Child of the King
person who may be sitting here today
wondering why that new convert is getting
all the attention when I’ve been faithful for          12 Dec'04         Waiting for His Arrival:
                                                                   The Son Who Waited for Wrong Thing   7
so many years.
                                                      I believe that there needs to be a balance.
I know that I’ve often wondered how in the            You see, as Stan noted last week, we are
world it’s fair that I did not get a chance to        called to be servants of God but in our
“live on the wild side”. How much attention           service, we must not lose sight of our
would I get if I went astray for a short time.        inheritance.
Suddenly I start to feel a little less free, less     And the wonderful thing for us, is that our
like a child and more like a slave.                   inheritance is not something that we earn.
                                                      This is the other issue for the older son, he
If I were to ask a question of any modern             believes that he has earned his father’s
day Christian raised in the church it would           inheritance.
be this “how much anger and resentment is
building up within you as you live your life          Look at what the older son says to his father
in service to the King?”                              “'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 (notice he doesn’t even        despised the nighttime because eventually
think of him as a brother) who has               his eyes fell forcing him to stop reading and
squandered your property with prostitutes        writing. Amazing achievement.
comes home, you kill the fattened calf for
him!'                                                                 Martin Luther
It’s just not fair !!!!

God is asking for the return of his children –
the ones who are lost far away from home as
well as the ones who are lost as they sit in
                                                  12 Dec'04         Waiting for His Arrival:
the pews week after week.                                     The Son Who Waited for Wrong Thing   8

                                                 Yet, the path he walked ultimately led him
One question I have when I come to the end       to the point where he discovered that it is
of this parable is “can the older son truly      not possible to find favor in God’s eyes.
come home?” Can he go home to his father         There is absolutely nothing man can do
when he feels so imprisoned in obedience         because of sin. He knew this because he
and duty lived out as slavery? As it is told     tried everything with all his great efforts.
in the bible, we don’t find out how the older
son responds. We see how the father              The path Martin Luther walked led him to
responds but we are left guessing about the      discover that salvation is only possible
older son.                                       through the grace of God through Jesus
                                                 Christ. The only way to enter into the
You have all likely heard of a man named         inheritance of the father – for the older son
Martin Luther. The man who sparked the           and for us, is to fall down on our knees and
Great Reformation. Well Luther spent most        accept the Father’s gift. It is freely given –
of his days striving in duty to the Lord to      not earned - and it is possible for every
find favor in the eyes of God. He was a man      person. Let’s pray.
so driven in this effort that he accomplished
an incredible amount by his own efforts.         As I pray, I’d like you to bear these words in
Were you aware that the number of papers         mind. You are a child of God, you are an
written by Luther exceeds 100 000? He
heir to the throne, you are a part of his

                        You Are...
                  •A child of God
                  •An heir to the throne
                  •A part of His family

 12 Dec'04         Waiting for His Arrival:
             The Son Who Waited for Wrong Thing   9

Father I am your child. You created me.
You breathed life into me. You chose me.
You freed me. You made me one of your
own. You came down from heaven for me.
You sacrificed Your Son for me. Jesus, you
died for me. Thank you. We are your body.
We are your people. We are your church.
We long to serve you because you are so
worthy of our service. You are so worthy of
our lives. Father take us now. We long to
be with you, we pray, Amen.

The Bible says, "By grace you have been
saved through faith; it is the gift of God, not
of works" (Eph. 2:8-9).

The Bible is clear -- we are saved, "not by
works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to His mercy" (Titus 3:5).

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