054 – The Compassionate Father & His Two Lost Sons

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The last parable in our series is the famous, “The Prodigal Son.” Yet, the text shows that there are two lost sons in need of joy, life, and wholeness. Listen in as we survey a familiar text with fresh eyes.

Luke 15:11-32

Ezekiel 37:11-14

Hey, thanks for tuning in to the life around the table podcast. The table is a church located in Belgrade, Montana that seeks to be rooted in Christ growing in community and serving the common good. On this podcast, you’re going to hear teachings from our Sunday gatherings, and other resources and conversations about faith, live culture and the church. We hope you enjoy the following episode.

authors, theologians, scholars, pastors, everyday Christians realized over the years that this is not about one son. This is about a compassionate father and his two lost sons. And as we open the text, it says a man had two sons. This is not just about one prodigal who ran away, but a prodigal who sort of remained. And so we’re going to explore the last newness of these two, these two sons in the compassionate nature of the Father. To give you a recap of where we’ve been over the summer, we went through Psalms, several songs. And now we are in this parables series where we’re just looking at the stories and illustrations of the kingdom of God given to us by Jesus. And parables tell us what the kingdom is like. So if you’re trying to figure out how does it look like to live in the way of Jesus, we look at the parables and say, Well, this is what the kingdom of is like. And what we do is with Jesus, we say, Lord, bring your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. So the parables give us the way of heaven and how we ought to integrate it into the world, here and now. And then the time to come. And so Jesus found himself in the book of Luke, often debating these Pharisees about who he should be hanging out with. In the beginning of Luke 15 opens with a statement from the Pharisees, this man welcomes sinners. very controversial. As we saw last week, we’ve read read, some ancient literature were Jewish rabbis said do not even sit with tax collectors or sinners, even if it means you’re trying to lead them back to God,

don’t do it.

So that was the framework that Jesus was engaging that he was debating. And his ministry, what I love about his ministry is it’s happening oftentimes in the personal space of people’s homes and around tables, with people, and this passage opens with who Jesus is sitting with, and it ends with who Jesus celebrates with. If we want to follow Jesus, we have to listen closely to the parable. But this man welcomes sinners and this Luke 15 This has been an important text throughout history. It’s captured the hearts and minds of many people. There was a painting that was just up on the screen a few moments ago. It’s going to be up there again, I want you guys to take a look at this. This is a Rembrandt, famous painting the return of the prodigal son. And this is a pretty remarkable painting because this happens at the end of Rembrandt’s life. And if you know anything about Rembrandt’s life, you know that he was reckless, he was wasteful. He was broken. He was wounded his story of his life as one big tragedy, it seems. And he had this way, he was obsessed with the parable of the lost son. In fact, he has other portraits and other sketches that show different sides of the prodigal son. In fact, he actually paints his face on the prodigal son, and one painting. It identified with him so much, something that was really close to his heart. And he went through a lot. There was a period where he met his first wife fell in love, they were head over heels, and within five years, he had watched

her and their three kids die at different occasions,

experience an intense amount of loss and grief. Not only that he had more money than anybody knew what to do with, but he would keep spending it and spending it and spending it. And towards end of his life, he found himself again married, losing more children, losing his second wife, more loss,

more recklessness.

This painting was done towards the end of his life. And it kind of reveals to you a little bit about what was important to him

as he approached his final days,

and some art historians say that they think you can’t see his face, but

they think that he is the prodigal son, being embraced by the father, being condemned by the religious, looking at with curiosity from the onlooker. That’s who people believe Rembrandt felt like he was at the time of his life.

He held on to the story, I

want to challenge you to paint yourself into this portrait this morning,

as we move through this text, so Luke 1511, through 32. And he said, there was a man who had two sons, and the younger of them said to his father, father, give me the share of property that is coming to me. And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the young son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country. And there he squandered his friends, property and reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be a need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country who sent him into the fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one

gave him anything.

But when he came to himself, he said, How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, I perish here with hunger. I will arise and I will go to my father and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, I’m no longer worthy to be called your son treats me as one of your hired servants. And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, the father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced and kissed him. And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven. And before you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, bring quickly the best robe and put it on him put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet and bring the fattened calf and kill it and let us eat and celebrate. For this, my son was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and he is now found, and they begin to celebrate.

That was older son

was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard the music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked, What did these things mean? And he said to him, Well, your brother has come and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound. He was angry, and refused to go in. His father came out and and treated him. But he answered his father, look, these many years I have served you. And I’ve never disobeyed your commandment. You never gave me a young goat that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes? You killed the fatted calf for him.

And he said to him, son, you were

always with me. And all that, as mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad for this, your brother was dead, and is alive, he was lost, and is found. Let’s pray. Father, we ask that our hearts to be aware and in tune with your Holy Spirit here this morning, that you speak to us through your word.

Give us fresh eyes,

fresh ears to see and hear a familiar text, rework and reorder our loves this morning, and redirect our most deepest desire to be towards you.

In Jesus name, amen.

This text simply teaches that the attitude of God towards those who are lost is one of compassion. One of compassion, again, paint yourself into this picture. Because so often when we read these narratives, and we read these stories, there’s always Never, Never have I taught this text.

Were afterward Somebody said, Well, what about truth?

What about telling them like it is and telling them what they need to hear?

I’m going to challenge you.

Figure out which one you sound like in the text.

That’s our default response.

These are not the words of anybody else. But Jesus said not the book of Cody, not the book of opinions, is Jesus’s words. So when we have a challenge with Jesus’s words, we meet with him about it. So this morning, just figure out where do I where am I in this text,

chances are, you’ll be able to identify with all three

at some point in time in your life, but we’re

going to do is we’re going to look at the two ways that keep us from experiencing life, joy and purpose that we have in Christ. And then we’re gonna look at the we’re going to look at the one way we find this fullness of life, this fullness of joy, the sense of freedom that our soul so deeply crave. And we’re going to look at the two paths, the path of self discovery, the path of self righteousness or on your notes, it says the way of self discovery and the way of self righteousness. And then we’ll conclude by looking at the way of the Father.

So let’s jump into it.

One of the ways in which we seek to find our significance, our satisfaction, our security of life is through this. Through this approach of self discovery, I’ve got to figure out who I am, I’m going to go on this venture and figure out what’s important to me what I like. And then we go on these journeys, and we try to figure out who we are on our own. And that’s what we see in the first son, from the very beginning of the parable, he says, Give me the share of the property that is coming to me. So at this point in time, the father will after the father’s death, they would divide out the inheritance, the older son would get to third, the younger son would get one third. And what the sun is saying is I want my money, and I want it now. Give me the property right

now.

And so it’s important to know I typically don’t like using like Greek words while we’re talking. But this is important. The Greek word for property here is the word, BIOS BIOS, where we get the word biology. We’re studying life. And so when it says property, its BIOS. And so what this guy is literally saying to his father, is Listen, I want you to tear your life apart for me, give me your life now. And so property, land assets were all tied up into one’s identity at this time, so by the sun saying, Give me my money, that’s coming to me, he’s simply saying it through action, maybe not words, I wish you were dead. This doesn’t happen overnight. By the way, in reality, you know, people don’t typically wake up and say, I think I’m gonna mess everybody up today. There’s usually a journey of life experience of trying to figure things out trying to work things out in your heart and soul and mind, that leads us to a place of well,

I just got to go find it on my own.

This is what’s happening with this kid.

And so when he when he when he says, Give me my money I’m going to get out of here in this culture again, that is to say, I want to be completely removed from the family. And the law indicated that this was actually a punishable offense through imprisonment or death.

And so

when he’s running away, there is no intention of him coming back, because he knows what that might mean. Says he goes off to a far country, our country, Luke’s original audience, are people who are outsiders, people who you would never think would be in the kingdom of God. And we talked about last week how Luke is trying to convince his readers that yes, you’re outside, but he’s brought you inside. And so when we use this terminology of far off country, I think they want us I think Jesus wants us to think about the furthest away from God, you can get the furthest away from the family of God you can get that’s where this guy is going a far off distant country, and he squandered all of his inheritance. The idea of squandering is not just like, oh, here’s some here’s No, this is a scattering of all of his resources. And behind this as a soul thurs behind this as he’s trying to pay his way for meaning he’s trying to find his way for meaning through doing what he can for everybody around him. He wants validation, he wants acceptance, he wants approval.

On this reckless living.

recklessness, this is living as if

there is no consequence to action,

living as if there is no God.

I can do what I want, when I want how I want.

And as he continues to do this, it says that a severe famine which is very common arose in that country, he began to be a need, I love that it says he began to be in need uncovers this process of lawlessness. It wasn’t just like he just ran out, it was a process of figuring out,

I’m in need, I’m in greater need, oh, I’m in greater need, he began

to be a need to the point where he had nothing, and no one around him. So he begins to hire himself. In fact, that actually means he joined himself to this servant, or to the citizen is very identity is now now tied to someone outside of the kingdom outside of his father’s land. And now he is hired to feed pigs. And as he’s feeding these pigs, is looking at their food longing for it.

I’m hungry, I’m starving, I’m lonely.

No one gave him anything. The text says, the father gave him everything. And when everything ran out, he finds out that the world gives you nothing. As soon as the world realizes you’re have no use, or you challenge the cultural narrative

of fix yourself, find yourself.

They want nothing to do with you.

And he’s learning this, in fact, Henry now and in his book on the return of the prodigal son, Henry now and he says this, the younger son became fully aware of how lost he was. When no one in his surrounding showed the slightest interest in him. They noticed him only as long as he could be used for their purposes. But when he had no money left to spend, and no gifts to give, he stopped existing for them. He was then completely lost. And it was this complete loss in us that brought him to his senses.

As it came to himself,

and other translations say he came to his senses, he realized what was wrong. I like this idea of coming to the self, because what it has to do is it has to do with actually self confrontation. It’s getting to the place where you’re in this crisis, you’re in this dark spot, and you realize that something is off, and you realize that the something is the self and you have to confront it. He’s like, I’ve gotten myself here. I’ve done this, and he’s realized the state of his lawlessness. And what’s interesting is that he’s connected the answer not to getting more stuff from his dad, but to getting his dad.

Is that something?

Hey, himself in the state of crisis, famine, poverty, wanting to eat with the pigs, God often uses these crisis, whether they’re self inflicted or not. He uses these crisis to bring us to himself, we have these awakenings in the midst of the deepest, darkest parts of our life, that often lead to us realizing we are the problem, and we need the Father.

Self confrontation like this is spirit lead. And it’s how God grips us. It’s to the point where realize we cannot find anything wholeness or happiness or satisfaction, anything else but God, our souls crave it our soul search for it. In fact, CS Lewis, he says that God can’t, it’s impossible. It is impossible to find happiness apart from God, he cannot give it because it does not exist. Happiness apart from true happiness, true lasting, flourishing does not exist without God. And that’s what this young man here is realizing.

People run away.

I’ve had a couple conversations recently with folks who are concerned about the state of their children running away, spiritually, physically. And the conversation comes up frequently. Well, yes, 75% of teenagers and children walk away from the faith. And a lot of it, quite honestly, is kids grew up in homes that they don’t feel like they can wrestle with doubts, questions, concerns that they have with faith in life and culture and how to engage it. They feel like if they ask a question, they’re being condemned, and a lot of Christian homes, and that certainly does happen quite often. But sometimes you can be the best parent possible, and the kid will still walk away. This text teaches that you could have the best father possible, the best mother possible and the kids still might walk away, was not as important as the running away. The important part is the return. Running away is significant and it hurts. But why do kids return? That’s my question. insistently, and my time in ministry, I’ve found the kids the people who return are the ones who realize that they have someone worth returning to.

They had a father or a

mother that they know would welcome them back.

They know would be okay.

They know what still love them unconditionally.

Think that’s what’s happening here. And again, this crisis, when people experience internal external crisis, we can do several crazy things. But what this real what we need to realize, and what you can encourage people who are wandering with this is, listen. If your worldview, if your belief system does not do you any good in your darkest moments, it’s not worth having. And that’s what he’s realizing. You see, money cannot fix the kid who has terminal cancer,

sitting with his parents,

parents trying to minister to them.

The world view of fix yourself, find yourself doesn’t cut it in those situations. And if it can’t get you through the darkest times, it’s not worth holding onto is finding the South is in the midst of famine sickness crisis. And he realizes that his way of viewing life is bankrupt,

of any meaning.

This runaway has realized

he needs more than the cash in his pocket. In fact, Henry now and again says this, in the context of the compassionate embrace of the Father that we see our brokenness may appear beautiful, but our brokenness has no other beauty, but the beauty that comes from the cat compassion that surrounds

it.

What he’s saying,

is beauty or our brokenness is not beautiful, apart from the compassion that we receive

from the Father.

And when we embody this text, to be compassionate people, we have to keep that in mind. That we can help people find the beauty in the midst of their brokenness by giving them the compassion that Jesus is teaching us here in this text.

So he’s found himself in the dark spot, comes to his senses, and he says, All right, a speech. That’s what I’ll do is natural default, is, let me make a list of things I’ve done wrong.

And then make a whole bunch of empty promises.

That says, that says, default, I’m gonna write a speech. I’ve sinned against heaven. And you, Father, so he prepares This speech is on his journey home, he’s rehearsing it in his mind, he approaches the gate of the field, he sees the house in the distance. And he’s like, okay, here it goes. I’m ready, whips out his notes. opens them up. his dad’s come running towards them. That’s a little weird ones dad running. Okay. Do I need to run? Okay, okay, so, dad, yeah, I’ve sinned against heaven and against you. Dad doesn’t care anything about the speech, he completely disregards it and ignores it doesn’t say anything about it completely disregards the guys speech. Why?

There’s nothing we can say or do to be reconciled to the Father, the father

has to reconcile us.

But it’s important. Last week, we talked about God’s initiative. And the salvation process, he goes after the lost sheep

will hear Here

we see the ball, son returning home as a recognition of what he has at home. And so you have this first picture of the divine sovereignty of God going after. And then you have this other picture of the human responsibility to turn and repentance and come to God, I love that both of these things are sandwiched together.

But there’s nothing we can say or do.

Get that ring to get that robe, get that meal. See, the runaways are deeply insecure in life. The runaways are those who who are wanting approval within themselves and from others and they are willing to do whatever it takes and and do whoever it with to get it. But after the let down every time they feel a sense of guilt and condemnation. That’s what we see. I think in this text as well, this, this younger son has felt the weight of guilt and condemnation. He doesn’t realize that he can be a son again. So he started with the lowest place you can be with his father, I won’t be your son, I’ll be your servant. Father and racism big party going on. But there are two sons. That was the way of self discovery. But what about this way of self righteousness? The other son is minding his business doing his job, he stayed behind. He’s done everything right. And here’s the music going on. A servant comes down says you gotta come check this out. And he goes, What? No, are you kidding me? I’m out here working. It’s still sunlight out. There’s still things to do. Why aren’t you doing anything? While your brother’s back. He’s not my brother. He left he’s disconnected from the family. Dad, here’s it. Dad comes wandering outside. And it says EN treated the son. Word and treated. It’s the same word used for the Holy Spirit. When Jesus says I’ll send you a

helper, the word helper. It’s the same word. The idea

is that he the father’s coming out to help to consult to comfort his irate child

about what’s going on.

There’s an intentional compassion displayed by the father to both

sons, it seems

father and treated him he is consoling and comforting him. Now his anger is deeply rooted in the belief that he has gone unnoticed, uncelebrated and valued and appreciated by his family. He deserves the party. He deserves the calf he deserves for God to bless him. He deserves for the Father’s love. Look at everything I’ve done. He won’t he squandered everything I stayed. You might feel like this. You might you might feel like there’s been times in my life where I felt like God, I did that. Where are you? I deserve this. Well, Tim Keller hones in on how to know if we have elder brother spirit.

He says

the first sign you have an elder brother spirit is that when life doesn’t go your way. You aren’t just sorrowful but deeply angry and bitter. elder brothers believe that if they live the good life, they should get the good life. And now God owes them a smooth road.

If they try hard to live up to the standards.

The elder brother spirit.

This is what we see a lot of times in the church, or the lot of elder brothers.

They’ve been around

the faith for a while they’ve assimilated into small groups. There’s no compassion for the loss.

whatsoever.

In fact, there’s the sense of the church exists to serve me.

What’s funny is when I was in youth ministry, I’ve heard this all the time from adults and used to drive me crazy when students would get saved. And they’d be in worship on Sunday mornings lifting their hands, the odd hear people say give them time they’ll calm down. What don’t mistake your spiritual dullness for spiritual maturity. The more we grow closer to God, the more we want to worship God. And we have this when we approach young people who come to faith with skepticism or anybody for that matter with skepticism. What are

we saying?

I don’t trust that God has done the work in you that he’s done in me. That’s what we’re saying. Let’s not mistake spiritual dullness for spiritual growth and maturity. I think this righteous brother here was sitting here playing the comparison game because that’s what he struggles with. He struggles with an intense amount of criticism and comparison. The father says something he said everything I’ve had is always been yours.

Why didn’t he take advantage of it? Ah,

because neither son

thought they were sons.

They both thought they were less than, less than sons.

That’s why he didn’t take advantage of it.

Because he thought he was simply

a servant of the house, not a Son of the Father. Both sons are equally lost just in different directions.

Both sons are protocols just in different ways.

One is lost in his own pride, the other is lost and seeking pleasure.

Both are equally lost.

And effusions two we see this picture of

God through Paul saying, everything that’s available is available to you in Christ. the fullness of life

is available to you. In Jesus.

We have everything we need in Christ, but are we living like children of God or simply just servants because Jesus says something interesting. He says I don’t call them servants I call them friends. And then in my he says, These are my brothers and sisters, who do the will of the Father. More than servants are more than friends. We are the family of God. And so the family of God should be as compassionate like the father because no matter what kids should become like,

or will become like

their fathers and their mothers.

Hoping Maggie do not listen very well to me right now.

They’re in the six and five year old stage where I’m like, hey, go do this. And they’re like, no, especially Maggie, the SAS level is ridiculous, with Maggie.

But here’s the deal, she may not listen, but she will reflect

what she sees.

And that’s and that’s scary.

And so like was more in the family of God, we should be acting becoming like the Father. You see, we’re told to be children of God, but not the stage children to grow up into maturity. And not if it’s funny that maturity has to do more with knowledge of the grace of Jesus Christ. Interesting that knowledge and growth and grace all have to come together. But anyway,

this older brother deals with pride.

I probably throughout my journey have identified more with the with the prideful son personally. When I first came to faith, I thought that God valued morality over a relationship. And so I did my best to stay

clean on everything.

And I went through a really dark time where I saw a mentor of mine who I loved and cared about walk away from the Lord. And it did something internally to me where I said, Who cares, I went off, and I did some stupid

stuff.

That compromised the standard that I held myself to. And I felt this guilt and condemnation and sense of comparison to other people. And I remember driving in the road driving on the road one day, and I felt like the Lord spoke to my heart, as I’m sitting there going, is angry and upset with myself from my lack of being clean morally, I felt like God spoke to my heart attack that essentially says you were never clean.

And so if that stopped there, that’d be very harsh. But the

other side of that is, I have made you clean.

It’s not about good morality and ethics. It’s about being in such a relationship that informs those things. Why wouldn’t we want to be faithful to someone who’s faithful to us? That’s the way of the self righteous, and that’s who I would identify with, but there’s the way of the Father. A couple things about the father is that the Father if you notice, he risks everything. He risks his reputation. How does he do that? He obliges. Just as controversial as the request of the Sun is the fact the father gave it to him.

He obliges,

OK, take it.

That’s risky. reputation, his livelihood.

You risk his relationship with his son.

And Romans one it says that God sometimes will leave us to our desires doesn’t say he gives

us our desires, and he’ll leave us to those desires.

And then in any relationship, you can’t force it, you can’t force faithfulness, you can’t force

love.

And so a lot of times, what we find is that it’s more effective for people to uncover their losses than BD than simply to be told that they’re lost.

And as we see with the younger son, especially

in this is not a model of parenting. This is not Jesus saying this is how you ought to handle every situation this is not that. Don’t don’t read into that is just my key, whatever you want said, That’s not one saying. Also, the father waits and watches for the return of the Sun patiently. As always, for the father saw meaning the father was looking

down the road waiting every for the sun to return.

Where the father is to wait and watch, and then be available. And then when he sees the sun, he runs recklessly towards the sun, he ran and embraced him the word embrace this such a weak word. The actual idea of the word here implies the full weight of the body being thrown on. He tackled his son with grace. The same word, this word for embraced, it’s the same word that we see in the book of Romans when it says that Jesus has received the full weight of our sin. Fully. It’s the same word to describe the falling on the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit fell upon them in the book of Acts. It’s the same word. It’s this complete saturation and covering of something. And so what we’re to see here is the weight of grace of God tackling us smothering us.

The full weight of Grace has fallen under the sun.

He runs recklessly towards the sun and the father welcomes home the sun and a celebration

and brings back the identity of sun ship.

He says you are a son.

Whereas the younger brother deals with an intense amount of guilt and condemnation. And the self righteous son deals with intensive mount of criticism and comparison. The father offers an intense amount of compassion,

and grace.

Grace and compassion are the most effective ministry tools available to us. So the application is that God’s grace and compassion extends to all

who will come back

and deal with the self confrontation.

And to not receive and celebrate the last is to be outside of the kingdom of God is what Jesus teaching here,

the older brother represents the face

who look down, and judgment and criticism. So here’s another truth is that our ability to reach people will only be as good and strong as our ability to have compassion for people.

Where there is no compassion, we will not see any conversion.

The practical takeaway for you

and for me,

pray with persistence and patience for whoever it is in your life that’s far from God. Do not give up keep sitting on the porch looking and waiting. Because you being that spot, you being that person who’s willing to receive those who have walked away, will determine I think, in large part whether or not people return or not. Again, the people that returned to faith are those who know they have something to return to pray for them. And when given the chance, give grace instead of guilt trip. If people are coming to you with questions about faith in life, they’re already sensing something you can help them identify that all along the along the

road.

But what’s more effective this

or this

before on the podcast right now on what did you do?

If you get your butt to church you might have seen I’m not going to cover it for you. Okay.

There’s that critical side, elder son coming out me right there live parable, ladies and gentlemen.

Give grace instead of a guilt trip,

instead of pointing the finger receive them with open arms. That’s what Jesus has done here.

Ruth Graham, do you guys know Ruth Graham,

the daughter

of Billy Graham.

She gave a speech at her father. There’s funeral this past year. He talked about how in her early days she was married and married for 20 something years or something like that. And then she found herself divorced and ashamed. Because whose daughter is she? Right? ashamed. And then she started making bad decisions. She started dating a guy who her parents said you probably should slow down and said, now forget you, I’m going to do this and they got married and then within days realized that was a bad idea and had to get away from the guy she had nowhere to go nowhere to run to. And so she said the only place I have to go is home and she says this. Many of you know that we live on the side of a mountain. And as I wound myself up around the mountain, I rounded the last bend of my father’s driveway. And my father was standing there waiting for me. My father who had every reason to rebuke wrapped his strong arms around me pulled me into a warm embrace and greeted me with these simple words. Welcome home. There was no shame. There was no blame. There was no condemnation just on conditional love. My father’s embrace at that moment was one of the most profound gestures of acceptance I had ever experienced, to be utterly broken, that still accepted, to feel ugly, to be loved, to feel like an outcast and still be welcomed. I’m marveled at the contrast between my heart full of shame and regret, and my father’s heart

so full of love.

I must have felt many things at once in his arms shock, relief, gratitude, safety, disbelief. One thing I most definitely felt

was shattered.

And through his embrace my father, let me know I had permission

to feel that way.

He was not condemning me, no defense or explanation was required. My father was not God. He showed me what God is like that day, his one act of grace changed my life and informed who I am. I am so grateful God accepts me. As I am hurting, wounded and broken. I’m glad he chooses me to be a part of his family, regardless of my past mistakes and sins. He wants me he cares about me. His arms are open to me at all times. Even when I’m in ruins, God stands watching the road eager for me to come to Him. God doesn’t stop at ruin.

That’s where he begins.

And brokenness is a qualification for service to him. God does not hold his hand, in his hand, a list of my failures. He is not waiting to judge me, He is waiting to be with me. He is waiting to embrace me,

and to welcome me home.

Both sons are lost.

If we’re in the prideful camp, we’ve got to be broken of our pride. And we do this by looking at the last seeing what God’s heart is, and then identifying our heart with God’s, if we’re the reckless run away, we just simply receive the grace that he’s offering and begin to be back in the family of God. The response is for you to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in this.

Jesus

on the cross, represents his arms open wide, feeling the weight of our sin, and welcoming us back home.

But notice what the Father says

he was dead, and now he’s a

live.

This is resurrection language of Ezekiel 37. When the Prophet is looking over bought bodies of dead, dry bones, and he says, Can anybody raise these dead bones? The Prophet says to God, you can. And this is where God says I will breathe life into them, I will put a new spirit new heart within you and basically

resurrect you.

This parable is just as much about resurrection as it is dying to ourselves

from death to life.

And the only way to find this life that our souls crave is about responding to the invite. Did you notice the parable ends

with an open ended? ending?

We don’t know the trajectory of the product. We

don’t know if the sun responds because it’s meant to push

on the religious leaders to push on the tax collectors and say Where are you? Who are you? So as you sit around the tables for a moment and have conversations, figure out with whom you identify in the text. For somebody who’s ready to respond to the invitation of Jesus to welcome home,

simply say yes and let somebody around your table know

so that we can celebrate with you. I think the table likes to celebrate we eat every stinking week. We love to celebrate what God is doing.

It’s what we do here.

Let’s pray. Father, we thank you for your word. We thank you

that the way of the father’s one of compassion help us become like the Father. empowered by the Spirit, becoming more like Jesus. It’s in his name we pray. Amen.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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