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Wayward Son

  • Wayward Son from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Transcript: 

    Something that has been on my heart this week is the parable of the wayward son, God’s passion to have all of His children back home with Him, and the religious goody two-shoes that don’t want them there when they do try to return. Jesus told a parable that is only recorded in the book of Luke, which many call the “Prodigal Son.” Lets start by reading it together and then discuss it. We will be reading from Luke chapter 15, beginning in verse 11:


    Luke 15:11–24 (NKJV) — 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.

    Here are some things that we should understand so far:

    * The youngest son, the black sheep in this family, wanted his inheritance while his father was still alive. Which all the village around them would translate as: “He wishes that his father was dead.” He is obviously self-centered and only concerned with me, me, me. 


    * When the father gives him the money, he immediately leaves his father’s house and journeys into a far country, to get as far away from his father as possible. There he lived life in the fast lane until he ran through all that he had. When he had foolishly spent it all, a famine came - Famine often follows foolish spending. 


    * When his money left, so did all of his friends. He began to starve and no one gave him anything. He finally got a job feeding pigs, which to a Jew was unclean and detestable. He had sunk as low as a man could. He had hit rock bottom.


    * Then it tells us that: “When he came to himself” he remembered how good it was back at his father’s house. It is amazing the clarity that hitting rock bottom will bring. On the way down, we can usually think of nothing except what we are caught up in, but when our face finally hits the sidewalk, the party is over, and what we thought were friends are gone, then we tend to wake up. 


    * He began to be sorry for his actions. He could clearly see how foolish that he had been. This was entirely his fault, and now all that he had was gone. He decided to return home to his father, apologize, and become like a hired servant. He put together a long speech about how he had sinned and that he was no longer worthy to be a son. He pulled himself together and headed home to face his father. The son had to come to his senses and return home. The father patiently waited and hoped, but he did not hunt him down and force him to come back. He was considered dead and lost until he returned. 


    * When the wayward son came in sight of his father’s house, still a great way off, the father saw him and ran out to meet him with open arms. The father had been waiting for his lost son to return home. He threw his arms around his son, hugged him, and kissed him. He was so happy to have his son come back home. The son began making his long-winded speech about how unworthy that he was, while the father was busy dressing him in the best robe that they had, putting a son’s ring on his finger, and shoes on his feet. The father threw a celebration and brought out the fatted calf, which was saved for extremely special events. The father’s actions convey: “I thought that I had lost you forever, but here you are!”


    * The son looked so down on himself because of his actions, but the father was so happy to have him back that none of that mattered. The son had behaved badly, but now he had turned away from that life, came back home, and apologized. After this, He was fully restored to his father as a son, not as a servant. The father completely accepted him knowing full well what he had done in the past, and he threw a celebration with singing and dancing. 


    His older brother had a different attitude. Let's continue reading:


    Luke 15:25–32 (NKJV) — 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.’ ”


    * The older brother had stayed with his father the whole time, and was working in the fields when he heard the party starting up. He asked a servant what all of the noise was and learned that his younger brother had returned home and that his father was celebrating with music and dancing and feasting. He became so angry that he would not even go to the party. Even though his father came out and pleaded with him to come to the party, he would not go inside. 


    * The father was overjoyed to have his wayward son back, but the older brother could not accept him. He had a vindictive attitude and wanted his brother to pay for what he had done. He also felt slighted and jealous that the father would show so much love to someone that clearly did not deserve it, when he himself had worked so hard to earn it. 


    * The father did not love the older son less, nor the younger son more. He was happy to have them both with him. The father forgave because he was filled with love. The older son could not because he was filled with bitterness and resentment for his brother. 


    * The story ends with the wayward son in the father’s house celebrating, and the older son outside bitter and angry wanting his own party. But see there is only one party… You are lovingly in it, or bitterly without it. 


    In context Jesus was speaking to the religious leaders, ever claiming how hard they had “slaved” for God, by attempting to keep a thousand rules and regulations, many of which God never even demanded. They had the Father’s love, but chose to reject it in favor of hard work and self-denial. So when God eagerly welcomed the sinful, common people, and even tax collectors into the kingdom, the religious leaders refused to join the celebration. While God rejoiced that these sinful people had come “home,” and He invited the religious leaders to join the party as well. But they only responded with only anger and resentment and whined that they who worked so hard should get their own private party.

    In reality I have seen this happen so many times in church. The worst of sinners get saved and suddenly zoom by people that have sat there for twenty years. One of the most anointed women that I have ever seen minister was a former prostitute. People who just wake up in the pigpen, come to their senses, then return to the father and apologize, get to go into the feast and celebrate. While the others who feel they are working hard for God, if they are not filled with love, will stand outside and bitterly watch. There is only one party to go to, and love gets you in the door. The highly religious, but bitter people missed it, while the broken and humbled celebrated, sang, and danced with the Father.


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6 comments
  • 2
Rose Sicilia
Rose Sicilia

This was an outstanding sermon and perfect song except my title would have been "I'm coming home". You did a fantastic service on both service and song and yes it hit me in my heart! May God Bless and protect you and Sylvia always love Rose Sicilia Thank you so very much!

April 9, 2017
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Julie Schneider
Julie Schneider

I loved it...such a story of hope and encouragement that we can all relate to. Thank you for all you do!

April 9, 2017
  • 2
Marilyn DeJongh
Marilyn DeJongh

Thank you for a wonderful message. Pastor Dion.  I think sometimes we forget that we're all the same, in the eyes of the Lord . . . none better than the rest.  My 7 year old grandson reminded me of that yesterday.  There is a man who wanders around town, isn't clean and has some mental issues.  We were eating at a Pizza Hut, and he was in there, also eating.  I explained to Logan that he had some problems when he doesn't have his meds and that we must be careful, but not mean.  He said, "Grandma, he is who he is. We're all different and I don't make fun of him."  I told him that was good, not to make fun of him as he couldn't help who he is.  I was very impressed that his parents had already taught him that kindness is good, even when we don't understand another's behavior.  He's such a sweet boy, and of course, I love him very much. 

April 10, 2017
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Deng Tembreza
Deng Tembreza

I have always heard and read about the Prodigal Son. Both by reading it in the bible and the sermons in the church service.  I have always wondered what happened to the older brother for it just ended there when he did not join and enter the house of their father.  and THANK YOU VERY MUCH PASTOR DION for you have provided me the answer.  There is only one party and everybody is invited.  OUR LORD GOD FATHER ALMIGHTY always welcome those who want to join the party for HIS door is always open for all us especially because we are all Prodigal Sons. 

April 10, 2017
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Rosemary Marsh
Rosemary Marsh

Amen hallelujah.I have always found this story of The Prodigal Son returning home, very touching and up lifting and come to understand the two sides to this story.Thank you Heavenly Father for your unconditional love for us,for when we have strayed away from you you have accepted us back into your family. Thank you Pastor Dion for this devotion for your love and time for preparing this.Praise God for using you and giving you guidance in teaching us through his word.Thanks be to God.

April 11, 2017
  • 1
Dion Todd
Dion Todd

Thank you all for providing feedback for us!

April 14, 2017