For Wednesday, November 12, 2014
“Two Lost Sons, Part 1”
You’re listening to The New You, the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s Scripture:
And the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living (Luke 15:12-13).
We often call the latter section of Luke 15 the parable of the prodigal son. In my Bible, the publishing company has added a note above Luke 15:11 that says, “The Parable of the Lost Son.” Certainly, this story that Jesus told is about a lost son – the prodigal son. However, this story is also about another lost son. Today and tomorrow, the Lord willing, we’re going to look at the two lost sons. Today, the son who strayed. Tomorrow, the son who stayed.
Three points today about the son who strayed: we’ll look at his choices, his change, and his father’s charity.
1. The Son’s Choices
You are probably familiar with the way this parable goes. A father had two sons, and the younger son comes to him and asks that the father divide his inheritance to the two sons. The father agrees and “he divided to them his livelihood” (Luke 15:12). The younger son proceeds, then, to journey to a country that is far away. He wants to be as far from his father’s influence as possible so that he can do what he wants to do. He gets there and “[wastes] his possessions with prodigal living” (Luke 15:13). That word prodigal means wasteful, morally lax, reckless, and loose. In Luke 15:30, the older son later says that the younger son devoured the father’s livelihood with harlots.
Before long, the younger son has lost everything that he has. He gets a job tending to pigs. He’s so hungry that he covets the carob pods that were fed to the swine, but “no one gave him anything” (Luke 15:16).
Stop for a minute and assess this young man’s situation. He is where he is at no one’s fault but his own. He chose to go to the far country. He chose to waste his inheritance. And now he has hit rock bottom.
2. The Son’s Change
That rock bottom moment is when we see the prodigal son come to himself (Luke 15:17). He reflected upon how good things were at his father’s house. He resolved to go back to his father and to beg him to accept him as just a hired servant. He did go to his father’s house and he repented of the sin and shame that he brought against himself and against his father’s house.
The prodigal son’s attitude is beautiful to read, but even more beautiful is the fact that such a repentance was even possible. I believe the son must have been surprised when he saw his father’s reaction to his return.
3. His Father’s Charity
Despite his mistaken, sinful choices, the son’s change was met with his father’s charity. The father cared for his younger son even when perhaps no one else would. The father, seeing his son a great way off, “ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). Rejoicing ensued. There was a great feast and celebration because, as the father put it, “[T]his my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Luke 15:24).
** Let’s wrap it up:** This story is designed to depict our heavenly Father’s reaction to you and me when we wander away from Him in sin. One would hope that it wouldn’t take hitting rock bottom before we came to ourselves, but perhaps it might. May God help us to resist Satan and not to yield to temptation so that we may ever remain in our Father’s house.
But there’s something else I want you to notice. I alluded to it a moment ago. The father cared for his lost son, didn’t he? And our heavenly Father cares for us. Does that mean that God is willing to overlook our sin? Of course not. He commands all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30-31). But it is by God’s grace that such repentance is made possible. May God help us to continue to confess our sins before Him (1 John 1:9).
Memory Verse: Do you want to avoid the prodigal lifestyle? You can do it preparing your heart to seek, do, and teach. That’s what Ezra did. Here’s this week’s verse:
For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel (Ezra 7:10).
The New You 10 Week Challenge for a Better Internet! This week I want us to answer this question: For what spiritual blessing are you the most thankful? So head over to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the like and compose a post which says, “The spiritual blessing for which I am most thankful is _____. #NewYouChallenge” This is week 7 of the 10 week challenge for a better Internet!
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I’m Robert Hatfield. You are the new you! Let’s go live like it!