The Parable of the Prodigal Son | Sermon Notes, Luke #65
From the Mar. 6 sermon, "The Parable of the Prodigal Son," preached out of Luke 15:11–32:
In one of the most famous stories ever told, Jesus describes an amazing father and his interactions with a rebellious son and a religious son. Are you rebellious or religious? Thankfully, those are not our only options. The redeeming son, Jesus Christ, died so we could put to death our rebellion and our religion, and rose from death to give us his righteousness. Run to the Father whether you are rebellious or religious; he welcomes you home with open arms.
Rebellion uses people, just like this son used his dad. He just used him for the money. Those of you who are rebellious, you use people. You want your parents, family, friends, coworkers, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, church, government to just pick up your mess and pay your tab. You use people.
Religious people don’t use people, they judge people. "You’re stupid, you’re lazy, you’re an idiot, you’re not as good as me." That’s exactly what the religious son does.
Rebellion is unrighteous. … Religion is self-righteous. Rebellion is, "I’m my own person and I express myself and I’m a free spirit and I’m unique and I don’t play by the rules and I do what I feel and I’m true to myself." And it’s unrighteous.
And religion comes along and says, "And I’m better than those people and I’m smarter than those people and I’m harder working and more compliant and I make a better contribution to society. They ruin everything and I’m the one holding it together." They’re self-righteous.
And the only thing in the story that the rebellious and the religious son hold in common? They’re both using the father. Neither of them is loving him. …
My question to you is this: which are you? Rebellious or religious? Are you more rebellious or religious? When your heart inclines one way or the other, which direction does it go?
There’s a third son in the story. It’s actually the son who tells the story. He’s the key to the whole story. He’s not the rebellious son. He never did sin. He’s not the religious son. He’s the Son of God. His name is Jesus.
And yes, Jesus is friends with those who are rebellious. But he never does sin. And he’s actually friends with those who are religious, but he’s not religious. The religious people are going to put him to death and he’s going to die for their sin and the sin of the rebellious. Jesus Christ is God become a man. He is our big brother. He is the Son of God.
At this point in Luke’s gospel, starting in chapter 9 verse 51, it says, "He set his face toward Jerusalem." So Jesus, the Son of God, our big brother, he’s on a mission to get to Jerusalem and to die on a cross in our place for our sins to pay our debt. And he rises to give us new life.
And so we all start like the rebellious son [or] like the religious son. But because of Jesus we can be like the third son.
Jesus Christ is how the Father runs to us.
He’s how the Father embraces us.
He’s how the Father kisses us.
He’s how the Father blesses us.
He’s how the Father adopts us into his family.
He actually clothes us with a robe of his righteousness.
And the meal that we’ll eat with the Father at the end of time, the great feast to end all feasts, will be a table set by Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our big brother.
"Fathers: Tough and Tender," after the jump:
And it says that he had compassion. Can you see that? In the dad’s eyes, compassion. It says that he embraced him and he kissed him and that he celebrated. The dad is really happy. And again, who’s the father? In the story, who’s the father typify? It’s God, right, that we’re like this prodigal son.
We sin and rebel and ruin our life, and if in repentance we turn back to the Father, he runs to meet us. He’s compassionate, he embraces us, he blesses us, he kisses us, he celebrates with us. What a great Father we have.
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