So now we come to the last post of my review of our Sunday school class on the Prodigal Son… Click for Part 1 and Part 2. This is not obviously an exhausted study but a brief overview… mostly to urge you to study the parable deeper. We talked about who the audience was, the context and the Pharisees outrage that Jesus, this so-called Messiah… Spends His time with sinners. Then Jesus answers them with three consecutive parables, two small one’s leading up to the largest parable in the bible. Yesterday we discussed man’s total depravity and a need for repentance… we defined what repentance is, where it comes from and what we do with it. We answered that all with “BUT GOD” Ephesians 2:4 One last comment which will lead us into today’s post, all the gifts that God lavishly pours out to us who believe… he does not take back, we are secured and sealed for eternity Ephesians 1:13 look at Romans 11:29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. When He saves us by grace through faith we’re sealed for eternity. His love and forgiveness to those who responds to His irresistible grace is breath taken. Take a look.
The lost son is on his way back… The bible says he’s talking to himself practices what he is going to say to the Father Luke 15:17-19. He knows what this Father of his should do, he’s expecting the worst here, he’s expecting to be shamed when he gets back to town… Not just by his Father, but by everyone in his village. Look what the Father does, shocking to do this in that culture Luke 15:20 “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. As one writer but it ” middle age middle eastern men don’t run ” They don’t look to see if their son’s coming back… The Father is not going to embrace him, he would slap him across the face and make him earn his way back into the family… not this Father, look what he does felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him and he’s not done yet, the lost son is still in repentance mode Luke 15:21 the father will have none of that, look at Luke 15:22-23, 24 “But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate. Completely going against what he should do. This parable is about the Father, He’s really the prodigal in this story… he’s the one who is lavishly pouring out gifts to us who believe, bring the robe, get the ring, put on the sandals, kill the fatten calf and lets party. God embraces him and immediately showers His forgiving love on that sinner and says My son was dead and now he’s alive Ephesians 2:1-4 “Salvation is from the LORD.”Jonah 2:9
The older son… The Pharisee, a lost religious legalistic phony. This older brother shows us that self-righteous, religious hypocrites do not know what grace is Luke15:25-32 This older son was in the field at work, working for righteousness, working for his father’s approval and for salvation. Look at Luke 15:29 ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; Dutiful doings and pride, look what I have done… I did this and I did that… He’s working his way straight to hell… While the younger son, the tax collectors and sinners, are in the house of grace, rejoicing and partying, the older son, self-righteous, religious legalists are out in the field working for salvation. Jesus said “the field is the world” in Matthew 13:38 and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;
So what happen next the parable just ends… what does the religious legalistic phony… The Pharisee, the older son do? Well for me the answer is found in Acts 2:23 Peter speaking to the men of Israel said this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. They murdered Him… but look ! not by their plan, by who’s? God’s… These Pharisee were just an instrument that God used to place his Son on that tree so we could have His righteousness and be saved 2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.