Parable Series, Luke 15:11-27
Luis Cruz, GCF Durham
We are not just celebrating dads who seemed to have everything going smoothly, but also the fathers who are struggling, navigating a strained relationship. Soon to be dads, too. Mentors, we are also celebrating you today for playing the role of a spiritual father to someone.
“When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God… 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.” Genesis 5:1-3. God himself is called Father. Isaiah 64:8 says, “But now O Lord, You are our Father.” Ephesians 4:6, “One God Father of all.” Psalm 68:5, says, “Father of the fatherless.”
Jesus tells the parable of the Good Father to set an example for us to follow.
1. The father’s generous grace to his son.
“There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So, he divided his property between them.” Luke 15:12.
The youngest son used his relationship with his father to get what he wanted.
It would require the father to sell a third of his land.
People in those days, belong to their land.
The son’s asking for the inheritance would mean, asking the father to tear his life apart. (Tim Keller, The Prodigal God, 22)
The father was disrespected and his love rejected.
Shamed in his community.
However, no anger, retaliation or resentment occurred.
Graciously sold a portion of the estate and willingly gave to the youngest son as his inheritance.
The first lesson: Imitating God’s graciousness enhances our God’s likeness. Be gracious with your words. Be kind with your actions. Let your life be a shining example for your children to follow.
2. The father’s undeserved mercy to his son.
“19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:19-20
The second lesson: Practice giving mercy. Let your home be a place of safe refuge where your children will long to come home instead of dreading it. Communicate lovingly. Avoid blaming others.
3. The father’s immeasurable love.
22 “‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So, they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:22-24
He accepted his son joyfully, restored him to his family.
Celebrated his homecoming.
Honored his son in front of his community.
1 Cor. 13:4-7, “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
The third lesson: Reflect God’s immeasurable love in your family. You are teaching them Christ-likeness. Your life brings joy to your family. Your presence brings hope to your children.