PRESENT TRUTHS and PRINCIPLES
CONCERNING THE PRODIGAL SON
BY: TROY NICHOLS
Rev 3:11-12 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
Lu 15:11-12 And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
- Prodigal is made up of three parts. Prod-I-Gal. You will note that there is an I right in the middle. One English rendering of prod is to stimulate or egg one on to action. Gal is a girl. The woman in scriptures speaks metaphorically of our soul in the sense that it is feminine. We put the three together and get this principle. When I allow my soul to stimulate (drive or arouse) me and not the Holy Spirit, I am on my way to becoming a prodigal.
- A prodigal is one who wastes and misuses what has been given him or her. We have looked at this text in Luke in the light of the prodigal son, but I want to stretch you a little in this message and show you some other prodigals.
- 1) Believer — The Lord places something in your hand (ministry) and you waste it. There are many in the church at large that have been given revelations, gifts, talents and callings that have wasted them. They simply have walked out of the Fathers house and are no longer moving in their ministry as they once did.
- 2) Local Churches — The Lord has blessed local churches and given them the opportunity to be a light in their community. Many have wasted their opportunity and have turned to man-made programs. They now exist as a prodigal church.
- 3) Our Country — We can look at our country and see the results of prodigal believers and churches. Our country has wasted that which the Lord has blessed them with and we are now a prodigal nation.
- In this teaching, we are going to learn how the Father deals with the prodigals as well as how we as parents and leaders should deal with them.
- I want to point out from our text that the prodigal son had been IN the Father’s house for some time before leaving. The principle being that he had experienced the life, the word, the peace, the joy, the security and the love that was in the House.
- According to the Jewish law of inheritance, if there were but two sons, the elder would receive two portions, the younger the third of all movable property. With this insight, note that the son ask for his portion of goods. The word goods in this verse means SUBSTANCE in the Greek. One English rendering of substance is MATERIAL POSSESSIONS.
- Jesus said in Mt 12:34, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Another translation reads, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart”. With this insight, we can listen to the prodigal and see that his desire for material possessions is greater than the desire to abide in his Father’s House wherein there is Eternal LIFE.
- Sad to say, there are faith and prosperity teachers in the land today that are prodigals. Simply put, if you hear the abundance of some of their hearts, you will hear very little about the Father’s House and having an intimate relationship with him. Beware of anything that tempts to draw you away from the Fathers House.
- The prodigals in the church can be easily spotted for they are seeking the HAND of the Father and not His Face. Do you know that someone can take something from your hand and not be able to look you in the face? The truth being, their heart convicts them, their motives are not right. While you are handing out, they have made plans to walk out of your life and misuse the very thing you gave them.
- The prodigals in the world can be easily spotted for they are the ones that are wasting or neglecting their soul while making every attempt to acquire wealth and possessions. We can see a picture of this in Matt 16:26 where it reads, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” These are seeking material possessions instead of Eternal Life.
- Now that we have a broader understanding of a prodigal, how do we deal with them? This is a hard saying and tough love; you simply give them the rope they desire with the understanding that they will hang themselves sooner or later. The rope is that thing or things which is pulling them away from the Fathers House. It could be revelations, talents; gifts, ministry, money, drugs, alcohol or relationships just to name a few.
- Now, let me explain this hanging. One English rendering of hang is to fasten from above with no support from below.
- The principle being, when they leave the Fathers House, they must come to grips with the fact that they have left the one who supports them. And when the prodigal seeks support from below (for their corrupt habits and lifestyles), they will find there is none. This will be the wakeup call to bring them back to their Fathers House.
- I know it is hard to say no, but when you see the end of the story, you will better understand that when you give in, you may actually become responsible for delaying deliverance for the prodigal.
Lu 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
- The Greek word for took his journey here is interpreted in the Vine’s Dictionary, “to be away from one’s people.” To leave the Father’s House is to leave the people of God.
- The fact that he went into a far country lets us see in principle that he put a great distance between him and the people of God. I could say it another way; he put a great distance between him and the very ones that helped him.
- He wasted what was given him with riotous living. Those who live riotous are unrestrained, they live wild lives, and they waste both money and time (yours and theirs). We can look on down at verse 30 and that this man used the money that was given to him by his Father on harlots.
- Remember a prodigal is anyone who wastes that which has been placed in his or her hands. A prodigal will stand out on Monday after payday and about a week after their tax refund. The principle being, when you walk away from the Father’s House, you walk away from the principles on stewardship! Ask one of these prodigals where their money went and they will usually say, “I don’t know.”
- How many times have you give to a prodigal? Churches give to prodigals. Parents give to their prodigal children. Employers give to prodigal employees. Our Government gives to prodigal citizens.
- I wonder how many have asked for and been given money for gas, groceries, rent, utility bills, car payments and then take that money and use it for riotous things?
- Have you ever heard someone in the church say something like this. I just give them the money; it is between them and the Lord what they do with it. That sounds spiritual but lets look at it from another viewpoint. Picture the one coming to you asking for gas money, he or she has plans on buying drugs but does not tell you. You give them gas money and they go and buy drugs. Now, what if the same person came to you and said they needed some money to get drugs with. Would you give it to them? I am sure you answered no. My question though is what made the difference in you giving? The difference was, you knew what they were going to do with the money. We must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit and be prepared to say no to the prodigal.
- We can look at the prodigal from another angle and receive another spiritual truth. You will remember that he wasted his money on harlots according to verse 30.
- A harlot is a prostitute. A spiritual prostitute is one who sells their ability or talent for an unworthy purpose. For example, the Father has given some ministers some revelation in the area of giving. They leave His House and misuse that revelation for financial gain. In fact, when it comes time for telethons, those in charge know who to drive by and pick up.
- The prodigal being away from the Father’s House becomes desperate and will slip into a harlot church and give their money in hopes of having an experience with God but leave discouraged. The truth being, the woman didn’t have real affections for him, it was just an act to her. She took his money and could care less about his spiritual condition.
Lu 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
- One thing the prodigal needs to know is when they leave the Father’s House, they leave their source behind. You may be happy for a season but that which you have left with will soon be gone. And, because you have wasted it, you have sown to your fleshly desires; you have no hope of a prosperous harvest in that place you are headed.
- We can see this truth in Gal 6:8 where it reads, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Another translation reads, “If he sows to please his own wrong desires, he will be planting seeds of evil and he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death; but if he plants the good things of the Spirit, he will reap the everlasting life that the Holy Spirit gives him.”
- The prodigal son sowed to his flesh and now it is harvest time. And what did he reap? Not only a famine, but a mighty famine. Note that this mighty famine arose. Suddenly, in one day, his world came to an end! That thing he is used to can no longer be found. He now begins to feel all-alone. He has left the Fathers House. He has left his family. He has left the people of God. And now the thing or things that had been bringing him satisfaction are GONE!
Lu 15:15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
- Note that the prodigal joined himself to a citizen of that country where he had traveled. The word joined here is a verb and means to glue or to cement. It appears that this prodigal has forced himself upon the citizen who perhaps really didn’t want anything to do with him; after all, it was very evident that the prodigal had nothing to give.
- I am pressed to wonder what the prodigal said to the citizen to win him over. I am reminded of Prov 26:23-28 which reads, “Fervent lips with a wicked heart are like earthenware covered with silver dross. He who hates, disguises it with his lips, and lays up deceit within himself; When he speaks kindly, do not believe him, for there are seven abominations in his heart; Though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him. A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” Another translation reads, “Pretty words may hide a wicked heart, just as a pretty glaze covers a common clay pot. A man with hate in his heart may sound pleasant enough, but don’t believe him; for he is cursing you in his heart. Though he pretends to be so kind, his hatred will finally come to light for all to see. The man who sets a trap for others will get caught in it himself. Roll a boulder down on someone, and it will roll back and crush you. Flattery is a form of hatred and wounds cruelly.”
- Flattery is the instrument that one must be on guard against from the prodigal. Flattery in simple down to earth terms is when one persuades another by buttering them up, charming them, seducing them, stroking them, sweet talking them, win one over, roping one in and to wrap around ones finger.
- One must be careful not to be drawn out of the Fathers House through the prodigal’s flattery. I am reminded of 2 Pet 2:19 which reads, “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” Another translation reads, “A man is a slave to whatever controls him.” In this case, if the prodigal controls the parent or leader in the church, the parent or leader becomes a slave to the prodigal.
- Flattery may get the prodigal what he wants sometimes, but here in our story, it got him a JOB, which was the last thing he was expecting. Simply being, the one he forced himself on took advantage of his circumstances in life and put him to work feeding his pigs. The principle being, he got the prodigal to do his dirty work. Can you hear it? This speaks in principle of the place where many prodigals end up running drugs, walking the streets in prostitution, stealing, hurting others for financial gain, merchandising the anointing, and the list goes on and on.
Lu 15:16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
- Note the words, “he would have fain”. These words in Greek simply mean to set the heart upon on. With that insight, note that what the prodigal son desired, no man would give unto him. I am reminded of Rev 3:7 which reads, “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth.” A word to the prodigal, when the Lord gets ready, he will SHUT the door to your world and no man even yourself will open it!
- Note he would have fain filled his BELLY. The word belly here in Greek speaks of a hollow cavity and speaks metaphorically of the heart. The prodigal was seeking to fill an emptiness in him that only the Father could fill with His Love and Presence.
- In this scenario, the prodigal had lowered himself to the husks that the swine did eat. These husks were actually the pods off of the carob trees. I found in my studies that there is a Jewish saying that when Israel is reduced to the carob-tree, they become repentant.
- Why would Israel or anyone else become repentant being reduced to the carob-tree and the husks from it? The truth being, these husks were shaped like a little horn. And, Ps 118:27 says, “God is the LORD, which hath shewed us light: bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar.” Ps 18:2 says, “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”
Lu 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
- Note that no man would give him the husks (horn). The principle here being, no man can give you salvation! That is a work of the Holy Spirit.
- I can look at this from another angle and say that many today are reaching out for the husks and have convinced themselves that if they can get what they want (drugs, alcohol, relationships, money, etc), this will be their salvation. But praise be unto God who opens their eyes at this point and shows them that HE is their HORN of SALVATION!
- The prodigal has now realized that man cannot live off of material possessions or substances. You will note that he left the Father’s House with possessions but left the BREAD behind. The bread we know is Jesus (Jn 6:35) who is our very life.
- There is nothing wrong with material possessions, but we must have balance.
Lu 15:18-19 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
- Note that no man can come to Jesus except the Father draws him (Jn 6:44). Many there are that say they are ready to change, but if the Lord isn’t doing the drawing, this one will let you down as they go right back to the same thing. When the Lord draws, the Lord delivers.
- Note the prodigal left the Father’s house and thus in principle left the Lord BEHIND. 1 Cor 10:1-4 says, “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” The truth being, you can’t get away from Jesus!
- Ps 23:6 says, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Romans 2:4 says that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance (a change of heart). 2 Cor 7:10 says, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” One who is truly sorry for what they have done will not rest until they find and experience forgiveness through the mercy of God. The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance and the mercy of God pardons (releases you from punishment) you.
- Isn’t it interesting that the prodigal son begins to try and figure out what to say the Father in hopes of coming back home? What he fails to realize is the fact that his Father is DRAWING HIM HOME. The word draw in Greek literally means to drag. If you will, the Father is dragging his son through the pigpen back to His HOUSE!
- Note that the prodigal said he sinned against heaven. The Jews would say this in order to keep from mentioning the name of God, which was Holy to them. The prodigals need to see that when they leave the Father’s House, they are sinning against God. We can see this truth in Ps 119:11 where it reads, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
Lu 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
- Note that he arose and came to His Father. There comes a time when the prodigal will STAND up and do that which is right.
- Note that the prodigal is a great way off from the Father. No doubt, there are many things going through his mind. He probably is wondering if the Father will accept him, if his brother will accept him, if the people of God will accept him, if he can be forgiven after all that he has done. This no doubt is a very long walk for him on this day. It probably seems like he will never reach the Fathers House.
- The prodigal son interrupted the flow of things in the Fathers House. In fact you will note that the Father came out of His house to where the son was. This is a beautiful principle for leaders in that we need to humble ourselves and come OUT and minister to those that the Father is drawing to us.
- I think it interesting to point out that though the prodigal son couldn’t see his Father, his Father could see him. And not only did his Father see him, his Father had compassion on him. Simply being, he felt sympathy for him as he read his thoughts coming down the road and he ran and fell on his neck, and kissed him. The word kiss in this verse literally means to kiss and to kiss. Can you imagine how the prodigal son felt with such a welcome?
- I think it important to note that the Father didn’t run after the son until he was on his way home. Many parents as well as leaders run after the prodigal before the Lord gets through dealing with them and usually end up making the prodigal worse.
Lu 15:21-24 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
- There is a powerful nugget here that is real easy to miss. Note when the prodigal was planning his speech; he said this is what I will say. I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants (v.18-19). However, when he starts his speech, he says, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” Before he can say, make me as one of thy hired servants; the Father interrupts him right in the middle of his speech.
- One English rendering of interrupt is a signal to a computer that stops the execution of a running program so that another action can be formed. If you can hear it, there will be times that the Father will give us a signal to stop the program and embrace those that he draws into our lives and local assemblies.
- The Father says, bring forth the best robe, and put it on him. In the Eastern culture, the best robe was reserved for an honored guest and was used only on birth-days or festival times.
- One English rendering of birth is simply a beginning. This was the beginning of a new day in the life of the prodigal son. And the Father wanted to celebrate this day with everybody. This was one day that the prodigal son would have the stage; he would be the focus of attention on this day. Can you imagine how he must have felt?
- Zech 3:4 says, “And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments (also translated robe) from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.” Isa 61:10 says, “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
- Now that the prodigal son has been robed with the righteousness of Christ, the Father said to put a ring on his hand. It was customary in the Jewish culture to wear rings to show ownership or authority. And, the name of the one that owned the person would be engraven upon the ring. Thus, the one wearing the ring now had the same authority as their owner. We can a picture of this ring in Matt 28:18-20 where it reads, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, all power (also translated authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
- The Lord has given us a ring of authority and sent us forth in that authority to teach all nations and baptize them in (INTO) the name (nature) of Jesus.
- The meaning of baptize is a text from the Greek poet and physician Nicander, who lived about 200 B. C. It is a recipe for making pickles and is helpful because it uses both words. Nicander says that in order to make a pickle, the vegetable should first be `dipped’ (bapto) into boiling water and then `baptized’ (baptizo) in the vinegar solution. Both verbs concern the immersing of vegetables in a solution. But the first is temporary. The second, the act of baptizing the vegetable, produces a permanent change. When used in the New Testament, this word more often refers to our union and identification with Christ than to our water baptism.
- The truth is, there are many folks that have been to the water hole but have not been baptized into his nature. If you don’t believe me, just get around some of them and start talking about baptism formulas and watch the sparks fly. You will see quickly if you are dealing with a cucumber or a pickle!
- If you get around a spirit filled ministry, they will baptize (overwhelm) you with the water that is flowing out of their innermost being into the nature of Jesus every time you come around them. Well, have you ever been in a setting where the word (water) seemed to be over your head? Selah.
- With this insight, we can see that when the prodigal son left the Father’s house, he also left the place or realm in which he had authority, which means when the adversary came he was powerless. We can see a picture of seven men with no ring in Acts 19:13-16 where it reads, “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know (Paul has a RING); but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”
- I want to point out that the ring also signifies ownership. When you look at a man or woman and see a wedding band, that ring tells you that that one is taken. They belong to another. This prodigal was outside the Father’s house without a ring and therefore the enemy assumed he had rights to him. Paul said in Eph 4:27 to not give place to the devil. In the light of this teaching, I would say, stay in the Father’s house and don’t take your ring off!
- To wear a ring on the hand was a mark of wealth and dignity (a sense of ones own worth).
- To “give” a ring was a mark of affection (strong feeling of attachment).
- Now we see the prodigal has the Robe of Righteousness, the ring of authority and ownership, of great affections, of great wealth and of self worth. He realizes his spiritual wealth and who he is in Christ. He knows he is loved unconditionally. The Father now says, put shoes on his feet. It was custom in that day for slaves to be barefoot. The prodigal here therefore shows us he was enslaved to something!
- With this insight, let us reflect back to the speech of the prodigal son. Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” Remember, before he could finish and say, make me as one of thy hired servants, the Father cut him off. Now we know why. Servants or slaves were barefoot. Thus the Father was saying, stop right there, you are not a hired servant: you are my SON! I don’t have to pay you to serve me; you will serve me because you love me.
- Eph 6:15 says to let “your feet be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.”
- The word shod here means to put on shoes and to bind under ones feet. The picture here is of a Roman soldiers shoes that were studded with many nails on the bottom to give them firm footing during battle.
- The word preparation speaks of readiness and speaks in the Hellenistic Greek of establishment or firm foundation.
- These shoes simply speak of the foundation of the Gospel of Peace, which is JESUS!
- Now we see the prodigal has the Robe of Righteousness, the ring of authority and ownership, of great affections, of great wealth and of self worth. He realizes his spiritual wealth and who he is in Christ. He knows he is loved unconditionally. He has his feet shod with the Gospel of peace and is now qualified to take the Gospel to the nations and teach others.
- I trust you see that the son has received a robe, ring and shoes. For the sake of balance, lets look at Genesis 41:40-43 where it reads, “Thou (Joseph) shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.” You will note that Joseph was given a robe and ring but no shoes. This lets us see that he was in slavery to something and in this case, he was enslaved to MAN! You can go in many assemblies today and the leaders will give you a robe and ring but hold the shoes. Selah. We need all three!
- NOW, the Father says, bring a fatted calf and let us eat and be merry. The fatted calf is not to be used for sacrifice; it is set-aside only for a special occasion. The prodigal needs to know that though they are in a far country, the Lord has something set-aside just for them after he restores them.
Lu 15:25-28 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him.
- We have talked about the prodigal son, now in closing we will talk about the religious son.
- You will note that he was angry at what was going on IN the Father’s house, which shows us that he had a heart problem.
- Note in verse 25 that this son was in the field. The field is likened to the world in Matthew 13:38.
- This son might not have gone off as far as his brother, but he still left his Father’s house to a certain degree. And, when one leaves the Father’s house, they will find that their heart will begin to harden over a period of time.
- Note that this son came nigh to the Father’s house but would not enter INTO it. He called one of the servants to see what was going on. Even so today, there are people that will not come to your church but yet will pick up the phone and call someone to see what is going on.
- Now he gets the news, thy brother has come back and they have killed THE fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound. The words safe and sound are one Greek word “hoog-ee-ah’-ee-no”. When this word is studied out, it means to be well in body, to be uncorrupt and speaks metaphorically of one who is free from any mixture of error. He came back whole!
- The prodigal that the Father draws home will no longer be mixed up. They will no longer tell you the truth one minute and a lie the next. Finally, they will no longer be dishonest and double-dealing.
- Now, upon hearing what was going on in the Fathers house, the brother of the prodigal was very angry and would not go in.
- Note the servant said they have killed THE fatted calf. This son knows that THE fatted calf is set-apart for special occasions. I feel it important to point out here that many celebrate the return of a prodigal to early. You will note here that the celebration didn’t happen until those in the Father’s house saw the robe, ring and shoes on the prodigal son. The principle being, don’t celebrate until you see that Jesus has really delivered the prodigal.
- The brother of the prodigal being angry speaks a beautiful principle in the day in which we live. Simply being, the son got made because one of the old church members came back to church and on the first visit, the leader takes the money that has been set aside and takes them out to dinner. So, the brother says, If they start coming back here, I refuse to come back. Isa 65:5 fits here where it reads, “Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou.”
- The Father being as much concerned with the brother as He is in the prodigal son, leaves the festive service and comes outside where he is and entreats him. The word entreats is rendered in one sense of, “to invite”.
Lu 15:29-32 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf. And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
- You will note that the son’s response to the invite was in essence, “I don’t like what is taken place in there. This speaks of those that you invite to your local assembly and their answer is in reference to all the things they see wrong or don’t agree with there.
- We can look at this son and also see some jealously. He can’t stand that his prodigal brother be blessed when he had been much better. He had been in more services than he had. He had given more than his brother. He was more committed than this brother.
- Note the brother said, you never gave me a kid, making reference to the fatted calf in comparison killed for his brother. Simply being, you gave him more than me! This isn’t fair!
- Note he brought up his brothers past which had been forgiven. There are those in your midst that will not let you or those around forget what you have done.
- Now the Fathers hits him in his heart. Son, you are always with me, all that I have is yours. The truth being, he didn’t realize what was accessible to him.
- The Father was letting him know, your brother was dead and is now alive, he was lost and now is found. And, if you can’t get happy about that, you have a heart problem.
- I think it interesting to point out the prodigal son repented and changed while his brother remained the same.
- The brother wasted his life by living a self-righteous lifestyle. He wasted his life by living in jealously. He wasted his life by condemning others. He wasted his life by harboring anger and unforgiveness. He wasted his life by living a hypocritical life. He wasted his life by being self-centered.
Matt 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
I trust you have been blessed by this two-part teaching. We have each one of these messages available to order on cassette for any size love offering to God’s Healing Ministry. Your support enables us to send our tapes around the world.
PRODIGAL SON – PRESENT TRUTHS and PRINCIPLES [Troy Nichols] 1