Below is yesterdays sermon manuscript:
The Gospel is for everyone, amen? Last week we talked about the transfiguration of Jesus. Peter, James and John saw Jesus talking with Elijah and Moses in His glorified state. These common every day men saw our glorified Savior in His glory. These common every day men saw two Old Testament heroes, Moses and Elijah, and this was grace. This was unmerited favor.
Two weeks ago we talked about the woman with the issue of blood. For twelve years this woman was unclean. For twelve years she could not enter the temple. For twelve years anyone she touched would have been unclean. People would have been afraid to be around her, but not Jesus. She touched the hem of His garment and she was instantly made well. We serve a Mighty Savior who came for everyone.
As we look at this passage we see that Jesus came for everyone even the person living in sin. Jesus came for those that the church makes outcasts, or those that feel they could not enter a church. When I was in college, I worked in children’s ministry at a church that would use the church van in order to pick up children from an apartment complex that was lower class. There were comments from church leaders that those children would corrupt our children. The idea is that we do not want those people around. But you know what, Jesus went to those people. Jesus came for those people who may not fit in the typical church gathering.
The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
The story today is about two brothers. One brother is the older brother. Think of him as the religious person. The younger brother is the worldly person. He is not religious. He is anti religious. Then there is a father. The father represents God.
Let’s read the story and I wish to show you that God is loving and He desires a relationship with everyone. God desires a relationship with unrepentant sinners. God desires a relationship with worldly people. The Gospel is for everyone. The Gospel is for everyone even the church outcasts.
Let’s read Luke 15:11-32:
11 Jesus continued: “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.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 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.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘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.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
- First, let’s say that God desires a relationship with the unrepentant. God desires a relationship with the worldly person, who is living for the world.
- Remember that Jesus is in Samaria at this time. At this time He is telling all these parables in an area that is hostile to the Jews in Jerusalem. The Jews in Jerusalem were hostile to them as well. I read about Samaritans a few weeks ago, so I won’t be labor those points, but I do want to emphasize that Jerusalem Jews did what it took to avoid them. They would travel extra just so they don’t come in contact with them. But Jesus goes right through the heart of Samaria and He tells parables. He tells parables that are not in the other Gospels.
- To the Jerusalem Jews the Samaritans would be unrepentant worldly people. Unrepentant people are in the world, living for the world and they do not care. They only care about themselves. They live for themselves and God wants a relationship with them.
- So, here is Jesus in this worldly area, in this area forsaken by most Jews, but not by God. He tells a parable.
- We call this the parable of the prodigal son. Prodigal means extravagant or wasteful. As you heard in the parable, the son wastes his father’s money.
- There are two sons in this parable and the younger tells his father that he wants his share of the estate. Now, you must know that there are a couple problems with this. The first problem is that asking for an inheritance early is like saying, “Dad, I wish you were dead!”
- i. Regardless of the insult the father divides the inheritance between his two sons. This is the second problem. According to the Old Testament (DT 21:7), the elder son was supposed to receive a double portion.
- ii. Now, what you need to know is that this is a parable; it is a story with a purpose. It may or may not have really happened. Jesus is setting this parable up in order to show God’s great grace.
- iii. Jesus is showing that regardless of what we do, God is our Father and as our Father he loves us. He welcomes us into His loving arms. This younger son is blasphemous to his father, by asking for the inheritance, but the Father represents God. The Father still wants a relationship with him.
- Verses 13-14 show that the son takes his father’s money and he leaves. Jesus says that he wasted his wealth with wild living. Jesus doesn’t tell us what the son was involved in but we can take a guess. We can take a guess because some of you have been in situations like this.
- i. I also think that some of you have had children leave home and disgrace your name. Still some of you have had situations where you were prepared to welcome a child back home. You have been where this father is. Some of you are the father and you have had your heart broken by what your child has done. For you it may not be that your child has wasted your money. You don’t care about the money, it is that your child has made poor decisions and consequently ended up in a very bad situation. It may make you nauseas to think about the situation your child is in.
- ii. Some of you have done this yourself. Some of you are the younger son and have experienced drastic forgiveness and reconciliation.
- Verses 15-16 show that now, this son is feeding pigs. Pigs were an unclean animal in Judaism, so for Jesus’ audience this is a big deal. This son has sunk to a very low station in life. But Jesus is setting this up to show the great, great love of God, our Heavenly Father.
- Second, let’s say that to have a relationship with God we must repent. However, whether we repent or not, God wants a relationship with us.
- Verses 17-19 show that the son is repentant. He realizes what has happened to his station in life. He is ready to confess this to his father.
- Verses 20-24 show us that as he comes back to his father, his father sees him from a distance and runs to him. We also see that his father wants to throw a party to welcome his son home.
- i. In that day it was considered a breach of an adult male’s dignity to run, but this Father is so excited to see his son come home that he runs to him and embraces him.
- ii. Some of us can hear this story and think like the eldest son. We see his reaction in verses 25-32
- The eldest son’s thinking is on the side of TRUTH—all TRUTH and no grace. His thinking is that the younger brother made his decisions and he should live with him.
- But I think that no matter what that elder son cannot see things the way a parent would. That elder son just can’t think about watching the boy learn to walk, rocking him to sleep at night, teaching him to fish, taking him to Chipotle for the first time, school programs and all those other things. A parent thinks with their emotions.
- i. I believe that God made us emotional because I think God has emotions. The Father in this parable is clearly God and when we are in the filth of life; when we are in bad situations, I think that God hurts. Some of you know what it is like to hurt and ache and lose sleep because your child is in a bad situation. Then I think you have a small element of how God feels when we are in a bad situation. God grieves and God hurts. Then when we choose to come back to God, He runs to us and throws a party in Heaven.
- God desires a relationship with all so He sent Jesus for everyone. The Gospel is for everyone!
The Gospel is for everyone. God desires a relationship with unrepentant sinners. God desires a relationship with the neighbor who goes to strip clubs. God desires a relationship with the person out late at night drinking because they are depressed. God desires a relationship with the man who has burned every bridge they have formed because he was never taught how to work with people. God desires a relationship with the person who cannot hold a job because he never had a father to mentor and teach him to work. God desires a relationship with the person who even cannot parent because he was never modeled or taught how to parent. You know what? God desires a relationship with the guy blaspheming Him on the news. God desires a relationship with the Muslim terrorist. God desires a relationship with the Nazi solder. God desires a relationship with every unrepentant person and God desires a relationship with us.
The question is: who do you most identify with? Are you the older brother? If you are a believer, are your interests, God’s interests? Do you desire to introduce those unrepentant people to Jesus? Know that coming to Christ does mean repentance.
Remember the example I gave about the church I served at in college? Remember how they did not want those children corrupting the church children? Jesus came for them. They had parents and family who needed the Gospel. The Gospel Is for everyone even the church outcasts.
Do you know Jesus?
God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)