A Father’s Example
11 ¶ Then He said: "A certain man had two sons. 12 "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. 13 "And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 "But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 "Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 "And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. 17 "But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 ‘I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 "and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants."‘ 20 "And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 "And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 "But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 ‘And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 ‘for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. 25 "Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 "So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 "And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ 28 "But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 "So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 ‘But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’ 31 "And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 ‘It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’"
This story by Jesus is one in a set of three stories. The lost sheep and the lost coin and then this one, the lost son.
In this story of the three we get a glimpse of the relationship between the Father and a prodical son, but also the Father and the elder son.
This morning our purpose is to let us look into the mind and attitude of our heavenly Father. And since this is father’s day, we can see in this story a proper example for us earthly fathers.
I. He was a generous man who provided for his family.
A. He had hired servants and would have left his children a good heritage when he passed on.
B. He no doubt had great plans for his son.
C. But he was even generous when his son made an unreasonable request.
1. You see it was his father’s retirement before it was the inheritance.
2. Notice the elder son does not say that the prodical wasted his own money but the father’s money, “Your money.”
II. Like many fathers he experienced a broken heart, but with grace and patience.
A. He did not become bitter for having been played the fool.
B. He did not write his son off for what he had done.
C. Now a days the prodical never leave home, they just keep on wasting daddy’s money on wild living.
III. He left a door open.
A. He longed for and anticipated the sons return.
B. He knew that there were consequences for his prodical son.
IV. He knew how to celebrate.
A. He knew how to forgive
1. There is no celebration without forgiveness.
2. Just look at the older son.
3. But the prodical was confident of his father’s forgiveness.
B. He was anxious to forgive.
Our heavenly Father loves us and allows us to go the wrong way so that he can show his love and forgiveness to us.