The Prodigals

Party Central

March 20, 2022

The way we portray our faith reflects the portrait we have of God.

Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”      (Luke 15:1-2)

Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” (Luke 5:29-30)

…the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered

Onomatopoeia – A word that phonetically imitates, resembles, or suggests the sound that it describes.

“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them!”

Why does Jesus party with the wrong people?

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. (Luke 15:3-7)

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”    (Luke 15:8-10)

“…he divided his property between them.” (Luke 15:12)

“…a far country…” (Luke 15:13)

“What happens in Beth-Shan, stays in Beth-Shan.”

“…squandered his wealth in wild living.” (Luke 15:13)

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. The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” 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. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:20-24)

1) Every story starts with a separation.

“Lord, don’t you care that we perish?” (Mark 4:38)

God is not willing that any should perish. (2 Peter 3:9)

…began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” (Luke 19:7)

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke 19:10)

2) Every story tells about a rescue/recovery/rejoicing party to restore that which was lost.

“…the father…ran to his son…” (Luke 15:20)

3) Every story ends with a party, and everybody is happy—except the older brother and the fatted calf.

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. (Luke 15:32)

“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”? (Matthew 6:10)

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