TEXT: Luke 15:11-24
INTRODUCTION: Parable: “a short narrative making a moral or religious point by comparison with natural or homely things” (Funk and Wagnalls). Parabole (parabolh): “the placing of one thing by the side of another; metaph. a comparing, comparison of one thing with another, likeness, similitude; spec. a narrative, fictitious but agreeable to the laws and usages of human life, by which either the duties of men or the things of God, particularly the nature and history of God’s kingdom, are figuratively portrayed” (Thayer)
Jesus often taught in parables—good Samaritan, sower, rich fool. In Luke ch. 15, He told three related parables—the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost boy (often referred to as “prodigal son”).
The purpose of our lesson is to focus on TITLE in TEXT.
I. He rebelled, vs. 11-13
A. This typifies the fact that all of us have rebelled at one time or another: Isa. 53:6
B. This rebellion is identified as iniquity or sin: Isa. 59:1-2, Rom. 3:23
C. We become guilty when we choose to transgress God’s law or do that which is not right: 1 Jn. 3:4, 5:17
II. He reached bottom, vs. 14-16
A.. Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay—cf. David: Ps. 51:3-9
B. Therefore, it is important that we come face to face with our sins: Acts 2:22-23, 36-37
C. The reason why this is so important is that sin has serious spiritual consequences: Rom. 6:23, Jas. 1:14-15
III. He repented, vs. 17-19
A. Jesus taught the necessity of repentance: Lk. 13:5, 24:46-47
B. Thus, repentance was commanded as the gospel was preached: Acts 2:38, 8:22
C. And the New Testament repeatedly shows the importance of repentance: 2 Cor. 7:10
IV. He returned, vs. 20-21
A. While repentance is absolutely essential, by itself it’s not enough—we must act upon our change of mind by actually returning to God: Jer. 3:12-14
B. We are told to bring forth fruits worthy of repentance: Matt. 3:7-8, 21:28-29
C. Consider Judas Iscariot—He was sorry and regretted what he had done, but He didn’t return: Matt. 27:3-5
V. He was received, vs. 22-24
A. The God of the Bible is pictured as a loving Father who will forgive and receive His erring children when they truly return to Him: Ps. 103:8-18
B. He loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for us so that a way for us to return might be made possible: Jn. 3:16, Rom. 5:8
C. Since all the necessary provisions have been made, the choice is now up to each of us as to whether we’ll return to Him by obeying His will or not: Heb. 5:8-9
CONCLUSION: Each of us at one time or another was a “prodigal son.”
Those of us who have returned to God should always be thankful for His love, grace, and mercy to receive us back.
If you’re still a “prodigal son,” why not come back to God now?

By Wayne S. Walker

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