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August 13, 2019 1:00 am
The story of the prodigal is a summary of the entire Christian faith. It is the Christian faith in the story it is Christianity in a capsule you see the prodigal story is the story of everyone of us every one of us who sought to live for self and we did, only to discover the painful consequences of that living for self is nothing but a mirage. No fulfillment is the story of everyone of us who persecuted the mirage of the world's attraction, only to discover it is a best. It's the story of everyone of us who have search for fulfillment in life and come to realize that fulfillment is only found in the one who made us and created us and redeemed us but believe it or not, the story of the prodigal is not primarily about the prodigal but a lot of people misunderstand is primarily not about either the younger son or the older son.
The story of the per article is primarily about God before Jesus came from heaven God Yahweh Elohim appeared in the person of Jesus before incarnation to Abraham to Jacob, unto Daniel at two different people. For a period of time. Just a short time for a specific purpose and all we know is through their eyes. But God wanted us to know him fully God wanted to reveal himself fully God wants to know what is like and saw God the son came from heaven to reveal to us what God the father is all about when God the son revealed God the father. He revealed him throughout his own version birth, life, death on the cross, resurrection, but he also revealed him by telling us some stories to illustrate what God the father is like, and so he tells a story of the prodigal Jesus in the story. Attempts to reveal the heart of the father. In fact, that's really what the story is all about. Now there are some people who have a confused picture about who God is made up their mind that they know what God is all about. They have already decided in their head. There are some people who see or think that God is that vengeful angry God was ready to walk you every chance. There are some people who view God as some sort of senile old man who was helplessly trying to do the best you can, and the list goes on and on and on but all of these views of God are contrary to God's own self revelation is it is all false views of God.
Now if you want to know anything about me. Who do you go to do go to the woman I love who been with me. 44 years living with me for 42 years when you got somebody who just sits in the congregation doesn't know much about me right. Who would you ask and that is why all views of God that are contrary to what Jesus told us are basically erroneous. All views of God that are contrary to the word of God is false is man-made, who would know God the father better than God the son, who coexisted with him before eternity in the Godhead for he and he alone could truly tell us what God the father is like any public figure, any person people can have ideas presupposed vision of what their lack of who they are and so forth, but only the dearest and the nurse can tell us the truth and that is why in Luke chapter 15 in verse 11. Literally hear the words of Jesus.
There was a father and is one thing that you need to know when you're reading the Bible and the somatic language which I grew up in the point of the story of the point of the parable is the opening sentence that tells you what's really the purpose of the whole story and the opening sentence. Jesus said there was a father that is really the focal point.
Do you want to know the one true God, the creator of the universe, the sustainer of the universe, who soon will be the judge of the universe. Listen to what is eternal son said are you searching for the truth about the one true God.
Listen to what his only begotten son said about him are you tired of these false gods that cannot satisfy your deepest longing come to know the only one the only one true God who can satisfy your soul by your seeking rash for your weary soul can't do the only one who loves you and redeemed you and paid the price and the wages for your sins come to the only one who can truly help you son revealed verse 11 there was a father on the planet. This is the focus of the story. This is the heartbeat of the story. This is the longing of Jesus in order to communicate to us. Listen hi nine. You know, earthly fathers can be good or bad. Earthly fathers can be cruel or kind earthly fathers can be adoring or abusive. But what Jesus is saying is this, listen carefully, especially those of you who suffered under harsh fathers listen to me he is saying don't confuse my father with earthly fathers ideal earthly fathers would like to model the heavenly father but that you know is not always the case this into our self focus generation to our undisciplined and careless generation to our dissatisfied and discontented generation. Jesus is saying constantly talk to me and then I normally then you would know the heart of my father to know me is to know my father to know me is to be assured of eternity with him. The word out about in Hebrew. I'm sure many of you know this but the word ever. You can't really translated in English we can say daddy up and it is just not word in English that honestly I can use that will identify the depths of the meaning of that Hebrew and Aramaic word in this whole wretched so powerful it's so comprehensive.
The word Abba is so filled with deep emotions and intimacy that cannot be translated properly and that is why Jesus reveals to us the heart of his father and here he shows us how the father feels when mother of his children will fully and deliberately chooses to go his or her way. Jesus wants us to see how the heart of the father breaks into when his children live their lives as if he doesn't exist. How the heavenly father feels when one of his children get all of his blessings in life and then lift yourself how the heavenly father's feel when one of his children live their life of being indifferent toward the heavenly father is there when the younger boy, sisters, father, give me my inheritance. He basically was saying. Father, I wish you were dead. I just wish you were dead.
But the father never cease to loving and never cease to loving. When the older boy stayed at home, went to church and went through the religious motions without intimacy with the father. The father still loved.
In fact, whether a person is in the far country living for self or lost inside the church walls. The father loves you. The father loves you and God's word for you is this. Not only that I love you but I long for you to know me personally I long for you to put your whole trust in me. Did you know that two sons. They basically represent all of humanity. They really do they represent all of humanity. The only two types of people in the world. One is lost while running away from God. The others were lost inside the church either why the father's heart is broken into longs for them to come home. I read a story recently, Prof. Rosaria Butterfield described himself as follows. Listen carefully. Please, she said I was leftist lesbian, Prof. of English who despise Christians. Then she became one she wrote a book and I recommended entitled the secret thoughts of an unlikely convert but we all unlikely convert to minarets.
Thank God for her honesty is what you said to me Christianity was stupid, pointless and menacing. She sought that all Christian hated her. Then, at the urging of a kind pastor. She began to read the Scripture and when she discovered the loving heart of the father. She said I fought with everything I had.
I did not want us I did not ask for this, she said, but the promises of God rolled like sets of waves over my world. Then she said, and I'm courting. Did I really want to understand homosexuality from God's point of view or did I just want to argue with him. She said I prayed that night that God would give me the willingness to obey before I understood and then she continued that she prayed, if Jesus could conquer death. He could make right. My world. I rested in private peace, then community today in the shelter of a covenant marriage, family, and here she says one calls me wife and many call me mother.
Here's something I don't want you to miss because this story is my story.
It's your story, though our sins might be different story, though our rebellion might take on different form that's our story. We all at some point have rebelled against a holy God whether we rebelled in our hearts will rebelled publicly, only you know that the know me. I know that our rebellion may different but the results the same alienation from God our struggle against God may take different forms to struggle with God. Nonetheless, everyone of us. When we came to the heart of our the one and only true God. We were drawn by health unbelievable loving heart someone rose Michael, I just don't think God loves me.
I don't believe in God really cares for me. God is angry with me. God will never forgive me material on the authority of God's own word, not me. What Jesus said about the father is absolutely true and is a testimony of millions of people around the world. Utility from a Middle Eastern perspective. You have to understand yet to transport yourself right there and put yourself in the place and put yourself in the culture is what you need to understand when the prodigal came to his father and if her son would come to his father today in the Middle East, or even Bagram and he says you know, could you give me my part of this date now before you die because I needed now I can tell you about the only thing that some would get from the father is the back of his hand. Trust me, trust me, trust me, that's all he's going to get the people who were sitting there listening to Jesus speaking there were incredulous.
They will think it's a joke.
What planet is this brother come from what planet does the sun come from to make such a horrible request to the Old Testament law is very clear and they all knew it that when the father dies two thirds of his estate goes to the oldest boy because the oldest boy is responsible for the rest of the family so two thirds of the state go to the oldest boy then now the third ghost of the rest of the family that after the father dies not before before and Jesus was telling them this unbelievable story and I hope you understand the depth of how unbelievable this is to impress upon them how incredible God love is how awesome God's love is how indescribable God's love is how persevering that love of God is how inexhaustible the grace of God's while the fathers in agony over his son's rebellion. He lets them go. With all the money. Why because Jesus is telling us that love only has with love, let's go off. Did you get that love only has what love lets go off someone here might be watching around the world you're enjoying all God's blessings be blessings of health, some enjoy God's blessing materially you might be enjoying God's blessing intellectually, you may be enjoying God's blessing relationally and yet you are giving God. Hardly a thought know this God's love is persevering and is letting go, God's love is waiting for you to return God's love is longing for you to return God's love is watching over you. I don't know about your far country I know what my far country was whatever was causing you to wonder from the love of the father is it an unwholesome relationship. Is it a misplaced priority. Is that selfish ambition is it anxiety and worry and fear is that the inability to trust God, the heavenly father is waiting for you he cares for you. You never cease to invite you to come to the heavenly father never cease.
Longing for you to return to see that is the heart of the father and that's why Jesus said there was a what the something else very important. I don't want you to miss here the father in this part, article, story. He could have stopped the sun from leaving home fears every right to do it.
He could've refuse to give him his blessing. He could have punished him publicly and would have every right to do that good of them all sorts of things, but he didn't. He didn't. That's the thing that turns me up. He waited until the boy came to his senses until he came to senses and he's waiting for you and is waiting for you and is waiting for you to come to your senses and understand the incredible love of the father in verse 16 of Luke 15 it says the boy. The younger boy hit rock bottom. Now for a Jewish boy to spend his days with pigs. That's really few steps below the bottom, but his pride kept him back his pride kept him back. Pride always keeps people from coming to the loving heavenly father. They convince themselves that they can be good without Jesus as pride, but his son came to his senses and even get to prepare a speech. When I got to my father.
I'm going to say this and this and this man and an owner you know what I'm talking about when you're preparing something important to you go through your head and you go over it and now maybe I should say this so maybe not on and I think I should say this because I really want to get on my father's good side. Maybe I'll say sorry I wasted the money. Or maybe I said sorry I wasted my life or my best. I sorry my plans didn't work out so sorry that my friends let me down or sorry that I brought shame to the family now.
I'm willing to be a servant mother son I don't deserve to be her son.
I'm happy to have a seven master relationship mother father son relationship is what happened. See when the son left home, he said, give me, but when it came to senses his make me when the son left home, he left as a son when he come back. He was very glad to be a servant or slave when he left home. He called it independence but then when it came to his senses. He called it what it is sin.
But you know I really like to rush and get to my favorite part of the story. The father's reaction to us when we come back home to him in repentance that the father's reaction vessel heavenly father's reaction.
The father saw the boy from a distance and he did something is unthinkable in those days is unthinkable in that culture. He did the most humiliating thing that for any Middle Eastern man to do. There is no self-respecting Middle Eastern men over 30. The withdrawn is only reserved for slaves and prisoners, but not a dignified father but listen to me, beloved friends what the Almighty all-powerful creator God. The unthinkable. He came in he died on the cross in order to redeem everyone that would come to him in repentance and faith. And that's where Jesus was pressing upon their minds and upon our minds. He did the unthinkable. One of the saddest things people all over the world say now known all that is so powerful he may be merciful but is ready to work. If he cannot dial across it defies logic.
Just as the story defies logic to its hearings at the time how can this dignified man run.
How can God's sentiment is pure folly die for sinners. It defies logic. But here's the great news is the thing that literally turns me up from the inside out. Every time I read it. The father did not say to the boy what everybody expected everybody within that culture would evict expected him to say some things, but he did not. They would've expected him to rebuke the foolishness of the board. He did not there would've expected him to scald him for wasting his money.
But he did not know condemnation know you disgraced your family wait outside until everybody knows how broken your know going through some pennants or recite 20 Hail Marys, so the no or you have to learn my forgiveness. I'm not going to give, don't you have to that is not our heavenly father and that does not tear you up. I don't know what will you see that's what Jesus is hearings were expecting to hear, but they were disappointed because that's what they did this and how they treated sinners. They got them to call the gun to earn, but instead the father runs to his son. The father kisses his son. The father welcomes his son. That's what our father does. He washed and cleaned his son. The father forgave his son unconditionally.
The father placed his own robe on his son because of son does not have a right standing with the father does not have his own robe and those of us ever have a robe of righteousness.
That's why the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed on this and so the father sees us forgiving.
Clinton's healed and restored because he see us through the prism of Jesus, the father forgave his repentant son.
Why, because that is the heart of the father.
Now, when the boy comes back and he begins, so he rehearsed that speech in his head so many times. Obviously memorized it and so he comes in he sees his father running which probably flabbergasted him and and then he begins to recite the speech that he memorized. This has father, I have sinned against you in heaven, and the father would not wait for the rest of the speech. I've had enough. That's all I needed to hear that a lot waiting for father. What about that part rehearsed so many times that I'm not worthy to be called your son and make me a servant one of your slaves. Father says I don't have slaves I heavenly father does not have slaves. He has father son and father daughter relationship. Did you know that.
What about you what about you, are you ready to come to the father. Are you ready to come to the father unity to say forgive me, cleanse me stormy father heal me today.
You can do that when you pray with me, please father you did not bring these people here but they're not here by accident you brought them here by divine appointment.
I pray in the name of Jesus with the part of the Holy Spirit that your piece will flow all over them just like a Butterfield said that will flow over them like waves to the peace of God that passes understanding. I thank you that you are true to your promises and you never go back on one of them. We thank you in Jesus name, amen. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way. If you'd like to know more about us, please visit LTW.org that's LTW.org