In order to completely understand this passage, we must look back and the context in which our text was given.
Verse 1-2: The Crowd
Jesus is talking to 2 groups of people here. Sinners and Pharisees.
Sinners: Those who were lost, openly in sin.
Pharisees: Those who were religious, pious, self-righteous, and hypocritical.
Funny thing is the entire time Jesus was here, the sinners never gave Jesus any problems, and it was always the Pharisees that were out to cause Him problems.
Jesus speaks to the 2 groups in 3 different buy connected parables.
Verse 3-7: The Lost Sheep
Jesus tells the story of a man with some sheep and one of His sheep decides to leave the fold and the man goes after that sheep and finds it and brings it home.
He calls his friends. They come over and throw a party because he found that lost sheep.
Jesus then tells us Heaven rejoices when a sinner repenteth. (Lost getting saved or saved getting right)
Verses 8-10: The Lost Coin
Jesus then tells the story of a woman with some coins who loses one of the coins. She lights a candle and tears the house upside down until she finds the coin.
She calls her friends. They come over and throw a party because she found that lost sheep.
Jesus then tells us Heaven rejoices when a sinner repenteth. (Lost getting saved or saved getting right)
Verses 11-32: The Lost Sons
Jesus then tells the story of a man with 2 sons who loses both of them. One who we have read about many times, and another that we rarely hear about.
If we would really focus closely on our Bibles we would see the connection between the stories and the application to the crowd Jesus was preaching to.
Jesus tells the parable of the sheep who left the fold and was lost – To illustrate the boy left his home.
Jesus tells the parable of the coin that never left the house and was lost – To illustrate the boy that never left home but did in his heart.
Jesus was preaching this sermon to the Pharisees. Sure he wanted the sinners to hear that He loved them and would save them, but He was focusing this truth on the religious crowd that thought they were so much better than everyone else. He wanted the better than you, nose in the air, cold hearted, hypocrites to know that just because they were in the right place and doing the right things, didn’t mean their hearts were right with God.
Tonight we are going to look at The Two Prodigal Sons.
Verse 11 – Notice this man had 2 sons. The other parables had been about a sheep, a coin, this is about 2 sons.
We miss that so often in our Bible reading. 2 sons.
Verse 12- Verse 24 is the story of the younger son.
Verse 12– The younger son tells the father that he wants what is his. What he deserves. What he has been missing. What he is being deprived of by being in the Father’s house. He wants what he can’t have being in the Father’s house.
I would say this young man began to despise the life his parents were building for him. The godliness, purity, holiness and righteousness they were putting away for him had got to him. He began to hate all the rules. He starts to disagree with all the standards / convictions / beliefs of the church, parents, and the Bible. He falls in love with the world. His heart longs for all those things the preacher and his parents say he cannot and should not want… women, alcohol, music, movies, clothes, attitude, tattoos, piercings, and the world.
So he goes to his dad and tells him that he is leaving and never coming back. He tells his dad he will never see him again so go ahead and give me what I will get when you die, because I don’t even want to see you and your rules till then. Destroyed, the dad splits his money with the boys.
Verse 13– The boy then turns his hat around backward, pulls his pants down to a sag, and walks down the dusty driveway to all of those denied dreams awaiting him.
I would like to think verse 13 took a longer time to happen than it does to read. I like to think this boy tried to hang ½ in and ½ out for a while. You know like most of us do. I like to think he tried to live for God one day and the Devil the next. But one night with some friends he was offered a cigarette, Daddy would never let him smoke – Daddy wasn’t here though.
Then the next week with those friends walking by a liquor store. He always wondered what that stuff tasted like. Daddy would never let him drink that – Daddy wasn’t here though.
Then the next week while smoking and drinking in a bar, a lady walks by and catches his eyes. Daddy would never let him date. – Daddy wasn’t here though.
AND BEFORE HE KNEW IT He devoured all his living with riotous living.
Verse 14– He has spent all. He is broke. Poor. No money.
And everyone has left him. Why? Because worldly friends only want you for what they can use you for. He was useless now; he couldn’t buy anymore beer, music, cigs or women, so he didn’t have any friends either.
They left him.
He has nothing and no one.
Where are all those worldly dreams now?
Verse 15– He is hungry, cold, needy. He sees a sign on a post, “Help Wanted”.
He goes in to check it out. It’s a job slopping hogs.
He works all day slopping the hogs, cleaning the pens, and then he sleeps in the pens with the hogs. But payday is a while away.
He asks for help. “No man gave unto him”.
Verse 16: He hasn’t eaten in days. He is starving. One day he notices the slop is extra chunky. His belly growls loudly. He begins to eye the slop closely (corn, tomatoes, scraps, soupy,)
He takes the bucket, turns it up to his lips…..the slop starts to run down….….. As he does he sees his reflection in the bottom of the bucket.
It breaks his heart. He drops the bucket.
Verse 17: He came to himself.
That is old fashioned way of saying He got right with God. He repented and realized the world is not all it’s cracked up to be.
He begins to memorize his speech of apology and repentance to his father. He walks around nervous trying to get the words to say.
He hits the road home and comes up on his street. Daddy is on the porch as a slumping figure comes down the street. Daddy runs to the boy and as the boy tries to give his speech, Daddy won’t even let him get it out. It was enough that the boy came home…
Daddy puts a ring on his hand, a robe on his back, calls for a fatted calf and plans a celebration.
It was so exciting. Everyone was rejoicing and happy that Jr. had come home, everybody except 1 Person.
***Notice Luke 15:25***
The elder son has been in the field working. He comes home and finds a party going on. He finds out what is going on and instead of joining everyone in happiness and celebration … he gets mad.
Verse 25: The Elder son was in the field
He was right where he was supposed to be. He had always been there. He never left. He never went out into the world, he never ran away, he never fornicated, he never, got drunk, he never cheated, didn’t squander his living on women, quit church, etc.
He stayed home where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to be doing, He was in the field, mowing, plowing, working, sweating, serving the Father…
He never left home, but his heart was just as far away as his brother was.
There are people in churches across America in the same condition!!!
There are many who are Saved, go to church, and do what the Father asks, but yet their heart and their spirit are so far from God.
But I believe there are a lot of Christians who don’t touch alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs.
I believe there are a lot of Christians who are dressed right, in church every time, Bible open.
No wrong music, no bad language, but their spirit is just as prodigal.
They are at home, but their heart is in the hog pen.
I want to show you the spirit of this other prodigal.
Recap Story Verse 26-28:
Brother comes in out of the field and hears the party going on. He grabs a servant and say, hey man what in the world is going on up there.
The servant tells him his brother is come home and his father is so happy that he is celebrating.
***Notice in Verse 28… And he was angry, wouldn’t go in….. His father entreated him.
I. He Had A Carnal Spirit
He had a carnal spirit. An immature, baby like, carnal spirit.
He comes in from the field and finds the party going and instead of being happy and celebrating with everyone, he crosses his arms, sticks out his lip, and pouts on the porch.
The Bible tells us that he would not go into the party. His father had to go out and entreat him.
That word entreat means to carry or pull along.
The dad goes out there and begs, pleads, pats, pulls, babies, and caters to this pouting OLDER son.
The word carnal means spiritually immature.
Church of Corinith… Lots of problems… Paul tells us in the first chapter of the first book what their main problem was… they were a carnal people…
He had a carnal spirit. His flesh was in charge. He had suppressed it all these years. He had hidden it behind a smile and an obedience to the rules without a heart for the Father of the rules.
Now his carnal, fleshly, wicked spirit was showing as he pouted on the porch.
There are Christians who may not drink, smoke, party, or live in open sin…..
But what about that flesh that you let rule your life.
The selfishness, the hatred, the bitterness, the anger, the worldliness, the jealousy, the lust, the rebellion, grudges, the unfriendliness, the gossip,
ALL THE HIDDEN SINS of your HEART that you can keep hidden and still be at home.
This boy never left home, but he was far from the Father, because of his Carnal Spirit.
*Not only did he have a carnal spirit, but Notice Verse 29:
II. He Had a Conceited Spirit
I…. I…. I…. ME…. ME…. ME…. ME….
This young man was full of something and it wasn’t the Holy Spirit, it was himself.
Look at what I did; Look at who I am, Look at what I can do.
What about what I want? What about my dreams? What about my life?
It is the root from which every sin can be traced…. PRIDE. I, ME, MY
It is the Sin that made the wonderful Lucifer into the wicked Satan.
The Devil began to see himself as more than God. He then tried to take over and God whipped him.
Devil said I, I, I, and God kicked him out and sentenced him to Hell right then.
I always right in the middle of SIN.
In construction the I-beam is the strongest beam. And it is the strongest temptation for a Christian.
This boy was full of I’s, Me’s, and My’s.
Notice the second part of this verse… I have to think he is exaggerating a little.
“Neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment”
I doubt he always did what he was told and never disobeyed. No one is perfect. NO ONE IS PERFECT.
What he was doing was comparing himself to his brother. Each time he did that, he felt good.
He didn’t feel so bad.
It’s like when we say… My music is not that bad. My clothes are not that bad.
My language is not that bad. My attitude is not that bad. My habits are not that bad.
Whatever you are comparing to is not the standard… the younger brother was not the standard…
But it sure made the older look good.
You may have come in here thinking you had everything together… compared to what?
Sometimes we get so full of ourselves; we think you do no wrong. We are so proud, arrogant and cocky.
You think you hung the moon. You think you know more than God.
You think you know more than Bible. You know more than the Preacher.
That pride that is in your heart is 10X worse than any sin you can think of. For it is the root of all sin!
This boy stayed home, but his heart was in the hog pen, because he had a Conceited Spirit.
Notice the last part of Verse 29: “Never gavest me a kid”
III. He Had A Complaining Spirit
Jr. comes home from his drunken, partying, fornicating, sinful, wicked life and you kill the fatted calf for him.
I have been here for this whole time. Not once did you ever give me a goat.
He had a house, food, clothes, toys, computer, car, Xbox, ps3, wii, TV, basketballs, footballs.
He had the inheritance of the farm, the animals, the house, the money, the wealth.
He had the love, honor, respect, admiration, and joy of his parents.
But he overlooked all of that…. For a baby Billy goat. Having all of that… He complained about a goat.
Talk about missing the forest for the trees. WOW!
He had been given so much. But he had a complaining Spirit. The same complaining Spirit we get…..
He just couldn’t stand it that his brother was being given something nice…
I don’t have this… I don’t have that… I wish I had this…
I could do right if… You don’t know my situation… I haven’t been given this….
This was his calf… Remember… The Father has already given the younger brother his inheritance….
Everything else belongs to the Older Brother… He didn’t want His Calf being given to his sinful little brother!
It was costing him something for his brother’s homecoming… OHH NO! The Older Brother was like a lot of Christians today…. He was willing to stay… but not willing to pay…
We need to stop and realize what we have…
Your family…. Your church…. Your Pastor….. Your Youth Pastor…. Your Youth Dept…
Your salvation…. Your blessings…. Your friends… Your future…
AND STOP COMPLAINING!!!!! This boy had a Complaining Spirit.
Look at Verse 30: He says to his Father , “Thy Son”
IV. He Had A Critical Spirit
This boy unleashes his spirit on his daddy and begins to criticize not only his brother, but also, his daddy. “THY SON” “THY LIVING”
It’s too hot. It’s too cold. It’s too hard. It’s too spiritual. It’s too far. It’s too close.
There’s too many. There’s not enough.
My beds too hard, my beds too soft, my beds just right…. And theres someone in it… lol
I don’t like the food. I don’t like the preaching. I don’t like the games. I don’t like this /that.
Did you see that? He should do things that way… She shouldn’t do that….
He’s off here… Shes not doing this right… He ought to do this more….
Nothing people do is good enough. Nothing is up to some people’s standards.
We are so critical. Critical of us, critical of each other, critical of God, critical of parents, critical of children, critical of spouses, critical of everything.
This boy’s heart was shown by his Critical Spirit.
V. He Had a Condemning Spirit
When Jesus told the story he just mentioned that the boy had “wasted his substance with riotous living” (13) But here the older brother is sure to point out what he thinks he has been doing… How does he even know???
He hasn’t seen from or heard from his brother….
He has no idea that his brother has been with harlots….
He simply condemns him with his condemning spirit….
The Father Loves On the Boy…Explains Himself.
The most tragic verse in the whole chapter is Verse 33. It’s not there.
Why is that tragic? Because the chapter ends and he still hasn’t got right with God.
We started the sermon with a boy that ran off, lived wicked and I don’t condone that at all.
But at least he got right and came back.
We end the chapter with a boy that stayed in the Fathers House… but his heart is still gone. His spirit is still carnal, still conceited, still complaining, critical and condemning….
I’m so glad God gives us a verse 33.
Do you know why Jesus gave this Parable to the Sinners and Pharisess that day?
He wanted the Sinners to know… Jesus would save them from their life of “riotous living” no matter how bad…
He wanted the Pharisees to know that though they were in God’s House, their Spirits were far from God and that kept sinners from being saved…
If you are here and you have been rebelling. Maybe you are thinking of getting away from the Father’s House…
Maybe there is a list of sins you are into or are wanting to try…
If you are saved… save your self a trip….
Don’t go to the hog pen…. Get right today.
If you are here and you have never left the Father’s House. How is your Spirit?
Carnal Conceited Complaining Critical Condemning
Here’s your verse 33. Don’t be either of the 2 Prodigal Sons.
Assistant| Youth Pastor
Clays Mill Road Baptist Church