The Parables of Jesus
Part 7 The Parable of The Lost Son
Series Dates and Topics
- The Purpose of Parables
- The Sower of Seed Explained
- The Wheat and the Tares
- The Mustard Seed and the Leaven
- The Treasure in the Field and the Pearl of Great Price
- The Unforgiving Servant
- The Lost Son
- The Great Feast
Luke 15:1-7 (NASB)
Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. 2 Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He told them this parable, saying, 4 “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
I pray that today’s message
transition from a head knowledge into a heart revelation
and through the power and the person of the Holy spirit
renew our minds and transform our lives in the name of Jesus.
- Three Parables
Luke 15:8-10 (NASB)
“Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Notice the similarities in the first two parables.
- Something was lost.
- It was searched.
- It was found.
- There was a great celebration over its discovery.
7 I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Both ending contain the words JOY and REPENT!
You’ll also see today a progression of thought in this parable trilogy.
- 1 is valued as much as 99 others.
- 1 is valued as much as 10 others.
- 1 is valued as much as another…
If you recall, at the beginning of this series I said, “all the parables are about the heart. The heart of God towards man and the heart of man towards God.
Today is no different…
- Two Hearts
Luke 15:11-30 (NASB)
And He said, “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13 And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly 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 fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate. 25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’
They both had a wrong heart!
One son wouldn’t stay and the other wouldn’t come in.
Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV) abbreviated
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
James 1:8 (NASB) abbreviated
… being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
The human heart is front and center in the third parable of this trilogy.
Neither san had a pure heart towards their father. They both wanted what he had rather than simply wanting him for who he was.
They were both selfish.
Philippians 2:3 (NASB)
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves…
The Rebellious/Disobedient Heart
The younger son said to his father, “give me the share of the estate that falls to me.”
The younger son had rebellion in his heart! He wanted what he wanted it and he wanted it now! He might as well have wished his father dead!
Jeremiah 17:9 (NASB)
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?
Q: The younger son of course represents the lost and the self-centeredness that goes with it, who can understand it… but what about the elder son?
The Self-righteous Obedient Heart
The older son said to his father, “you have never given me a young goat.”
As a parent I can tell you there is nothing more heart breaking than for your children to be at odds. Especially if one becomes jealous over another. It outs your heart and motives in question.
That’s what the eldest son did!
VS 28 He said, “But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’”
Now we see his heart! He obeyed because of what he could get!
Both sons said, “give me”!
One son rebelled to get what he wanted, and the other son obeyed to get what he wanted!
A Heart Check
Yes, Jesus was literally speaking to two groups of people. Tax collectors and sinners (lost) on the one hand and Pharisees and Scribes (religious) on the other.
But the bigger picture is one of the human heart. Each one’s heart.
I saw myself in both sons! Each one of us have some area of rebellion and some area of self-righteousness in our heart.
Romans 3:23 (NASB) abbreviated
… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
1 John 1:8 (NASB)
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
No, God doesn’t desire that we sin, but when of we do…
1 John 2:1 (NASB)
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;
In all three parables, something was lost and then found.
- The man loved the sheep.
- The woman loved the coin.
- The father loved both sons.
One heart never changed, it was present in all three parables…
- One Man
Luke 15:31-32 (NASB)
And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”
That Man is Jesus…
- Jesus is the man who left the 99 to find 1 lost sheep.
- Jesus is the woman who carefully searched until she found 1 lost coin.
- Jesus is the Father who loved and valued each son.
“This man receives sinners” was the reason the religious rejected Christ but it is also the reason we worship Him!
The true and simple meaning of these parables in found in…
Luke 19:10 (NASB)
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
The focus of these parables isn’t how lost and sinful we are, but how much God loves us regardless.
Romans 5:8 (NKJV)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Q: Some will ask, “what is sin”!
James 4:17 (NKJV)
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
I’m going to pray two prayers today, both designed so that you would search your heart.
The first prayer is for the heart of the believer.
Q: Is there an area of rebellion or maybe self-righteousness in your heart?
God’s heart is the same. He loves you no matter what, but He wants your heart to match His heart.
Prayer for Congregation
Invitation for Salvation
The second prayer I’m going to pray is for the heart of the unbeliever.
In Romans 10:9 we find God’s simple plan for salvation…
Romans 10:9 (NASB)
… if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
You can’t believe in your head, it must be with your heart.
Q: You may be asking, “how do I know if I’ve believed in my heart”?
The mind cannot conceive supernatural things.
- To be born of a virgin is impossible in the natural. You must believe in your heart.
- To live a sinless life is impossible in the natural. You must believe in your heart.
- To die and rise from the dead is impossible in the natural. You must believe in your heart.
You take it on faith, you believe in your heart!
Raise Hands if You Prayed that Prayer