To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. Luke 15:11-12
Can you imagine going to your parent saying, "I know you are still alive, but I really want my inheritance from you, and I want it now"? Basically, He was saying, "You are dead to me." Even more, can you imagine if your parent granted your request? This is exactly what happened in a story Jesus told in the book of Luke. This story told by Jesus involved a son who only cared about getting his father's inheritance and completely disrespected his father, who patiently loved his son through all of it. The story teaches us a lesson about God, who the father represents in this story, and ourselves, who the son represents. While we might never imagine saying such things to our parents as the son in this story, we can all relate. We have all at times turned our backs on God, and He patiently walks with us through it.
In Luke chapter 15, Jesus began telling a story about a father and his two sons. Selfishly, the younger son in this story went up to his father and asked for his inheritance early (verses 11-12). Most fathers would have declined this son's request, but this father granted it. He gave his son the inheritance he asked for. Then, the son went off, probably never expecting to see his father again. After all, he had his inheritance.
The younger son's actions in Luke 11 remind us what sin does to us. It makes us think we know better than God, and it causes us to make decisions that are terribly offensive to God and His heart. We may not want to admit it, but we have all been like this son. We have thought we knew better than what God knew and hurt Him by the bad decisions and mistakes we have made. We have thought life apart from Him would be better than life with Him. There is good news, however, God does not ever give up on us, even when we give up on Him. We will see throughout the rest of our study of Luke 15 that God is waiting for us to come back to Him.
Take out your journal or a notebook and think about this story. Write about the oldest son in this story. How can you specifically relate to him? How have you found yourself taking advantage of God the Father's kindness and goodness by running from Him? After writing about this, confess it to God. Tell Him you are sorry for how you have taken advantage of His love for you and ask Him for help turning back to Him.
Luke 15:1-13 (NLT)
Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!
So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!
“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”
To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living.
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