[Give a short resume of the life of the son.] The father supplied him with everything that he had (see Luke 15:12). Despite his affluence and his wealth, he left the home and his father (see Luke 15:13). There is a philosophy of life, not generally understood, that every faculty and talent that we possess, whether physical, mental or spiritual, we obtain from God. “In him we live and move and have our being”
The son lost everything that he possessed in the far country. He wasted his substance with riotous living (see Luke 15:13-16). The result of this was abject poverty.
Luke 15:17 - He came to himself [explain]
Luke 15:18 - His repentance is depicted here. He says, “I have sinned against heaven and against thee.”
Psalm 51:4 “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned.”
Luke 15:20 - “And he arose and came to his father.”
The scene changes and now our thoughts leave the son and focus on the father. We have a picture here of God, the Father, that we have nowhere else in Scripture. This unveils the heart of God. The father in this narrative is seen grieving his lost son. He scanned the horizon continually. Who then suffers the most, the lost son or the father? [Describe a mother’s terrible experience during the war.] God, the Father’s heart bleeds for sinful humanity. Where is my wandering boy tonight?
Consider David’s grief over Absalom. See 2 Samuel 18:33, which says, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” [Quote Matt 23:37-38, “O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem” - “Your house is left unto you desolate.” Apply this to sinners of today.]
The climax of the story is now reached. The father’s welcome is astounding. We see the father (or God, the Father) in a hurry—he ran to his son. God is love. He has compassion. The father embraced and kissed the son, whose garments were in tatters. He was filthy, smelled of a pigpen, and his sandals were gone. His body was emaciated and he bore the marks of sin. He came just as he was.
Ephesians 2:4 - “God who is rich in mercy […]”
Romans 5:8 - “But God commendeth his love toward us […]”
Note the son’s confession in Luke 15:21 as he says, “Father, I have sinned.” He never said, “And am no more worthy to be called thy son, make me as one of thy hired servants.”
Luke 15:22 brings us to the father’s benediction. The father says, “Bring forth the best robe and put it on him; clothe him with the best and cover him with my garment. Make him fit for my presence.” What a transformation! Every stain, mark, and trace of sin was removed from the father’s sight. Therefore, he was forgiven (see 2 Corinthians 2:10). - Salvation
“Put shoes on his feet that he may walk perfectly in my way,” and “How beautiful are the feet […]” - Service
“Put a ring on his hand, a token of everlasting love and union which can never be broken.” - Relationship
They killed the fattened calf; they ate and were merry. Can you see the son singing? Can you see the father singing? - Fellowship
There is joy in heaven over the sinner that repents. You are a sinner. Repent! You are a sinner. Confess it; a welcome awaits you. Can you see the Father scanning the horizon looking for repentant sinners—looking for you? Will you this morning say, “I will go to my father?”