02: THE PRODIGAL FATHER (PART 2)
Special Focus: Reminder regarding 2020 Fast Forward
- We are continuing our series entitled “HOME”
- One of the strongest themes of Christmas for most of us is ‘family’ – right at the core of our vision here at TCC is to be a spiritual family. Right at the core of Christmas is about God the Father sending His only son to save us, so we can be welcomed into family.
- When you are part of a family then you have a home – the dictionary defines it as the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household
- Over the next several weeks I want to talk about a family, and a home, and how God’s heart/character was revealed through them.
Luke 15:1-2, 11-24
- We are focusing on the parable of the Prodigal Father – it’s often called the Prodigal Son but we see clearly that Jesus said the story was about a father with two sons… not a son with a father and a brother.
- Jesus told this parable to answer the Scribes and Pharisees who were scandalized by the fact that Jesus ate with Tax Collectors and Sinners.
- They were deeply offended by this, but Jesus told them this parable to illustrate the heart of God the Father, and the heart that he walked in. Many Bible scholars believe that this parable offended them so deeply that it was at this point that they decided that Jesus must die.
- The first part of the parable focuses on the first son, who did something incredibly offensive when he asked for his inheritance, which was usually given when a father died. The Father granted his request even though this would have brought even greater public shame on the Father.
- The son left, wasted it all, and then returned destitute – but even when he was a long way off the Father saw him, had compassion on him, ran to him, hugged him, kissed him and welcomed him home. He gave him his best robe, the family ring (of authority), put shoes on his feet and killed the fattened calf and threw a party.
- All of this would have been very shameful in the eyes of the community as they would have felt the son should have been disowned and punished, Father’s never ran to sons and definitely didn’t welcome them home with a party.
- This all illustrates the heart of God the Father towards us – who gives prodigal grace and forgiveness to us and welcomes us home. The God of the Universe “picks up His skirts and robes and runs to us” and embraces us fully even though we do not deserve it!