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Luke 15:11-32

Luke 15:11-32


Sermon: The Father
Bible Passage: Luke 15:11-32

I. A few highlights on the “father” character in the story

1. A leader who is in command of the family affairs
2. Not overbearing or dictatorial but is present for family affairs
3. Compassionate toward the prodigal son despite all the negatives (15:20)

i. The son disposed his father’s property while he was still alive
ii. He broke the fifth commandment (Exod 20:12)
iii. He associated with a gentile and worked for him
iv. He became unclean through his profession
v. Was totally depraved

4. Surprises and counter cultural elements

i. The father does not refuse the demand of the son
ii. Does not reject the son when he returned (15:20)
iii. Demonstrates love publicly (15:22-24)

5. Initiator of restoration from estrangement

i. Ran (15:20)
ii. Hugged (15:20 “he fell on his neck”)
iii. Kissed (15:20 to show acceptance)
iv. Gives new robe, ring, shoes (15:22)
v. Fattened calf, eating, and celebration (15:24)

6. Accepts a failed member of the family by not criticising the person
7. Accepts the one who rejected him
8. Gracious— a willingness to reach down with affection the one who did not deserve it (he does not hold grudges against others)
9. But he is firm with his elder son

i. Disapproves his legalistic behavior
ii. Informs his elder son that relationship with the father is not based on merits but on love and freedom
iii. Invites his elder son to rejoice over the lost brother

II. Theology

1. Through this parable, Jesus gave an answer to the Pharisees and Scribes who muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them”

a. Jesus goes after the sinners because the heavenly Father goes after them
b. Therefore, this parable is the portrait of the heavenly Father

2. God the Father accepts all repentant sinners, no matter how sinful and undeserving they may be
3. Jesus teaches that the following:

a. Sinners can come back with repentance to the Father, who is looking for them
b. By their legalisms legalists do not claim their relationship with the Father
c. When the Father accepts repentant sinners, He expects other believers accept and rejoice over their restoration
d. There is so much freedom in believers’ relationship with the Father (dos and don’ts do not necessarily please the Father)

4. We are like the younger one (rebels) or like the elder one (misunderstands), and the Father is the restorer of both the younger and older
5. In Jesus’ eating with tax collectors and sinners, God was at work by offering his kingdom to sinners and undeserving people
6. God appears to have established the office of the father to serve in the family on behalf of Him—in other words, as the under fathers
7. A father who does not have a proper understanding of the real Father may not be able to properly discharge his God-given responsibilities
8. Human fathers cannot measure up to the Heavenly Father, but He is their role-model—looking vertical and doing horizontal

Take Away:

1. Human fathers! be influenced by the heavenly Father
2. Those who are estranged from the Father! come back to the One who is on the lookout for you
3. Those legalists! give up your legalism and relate with the Father and brother (community)

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at