Luke 15:11-32 (New Living Translation)

Hey there. Here is Thursday‟s and since this should have gone out on Sunday and Friday‟s gone
out today, I‟m sending you two e-mails tonight.
Just wanted to quickly remind everyone to be here at 8am on Monday morning. It‟s going to be
a great week on Main Street.
Story – Matthew 18:21-35
Verse - Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can‟t take credit for this; it is a gift
from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast
about it.
Daily Theme- Grace
Luke 15:11-32 (New Living Translation)
Parable of the Lost Son
To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son
told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his
wealth between his sons.
“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and
there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine
swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the
man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the
pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, „At home even the hired servants
have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and
say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being
called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”‟
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him
coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21
His son said to him, „Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer
worthy of being called your son‟
“But his father said to the servants, „Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on
him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening.
We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He
was lost, but now he is found.‟ So the party began.
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music
and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 „Your
brother is back,‟ he was told, „and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating
because of his safe return.‟
“The older brother was angry and wouldn‟t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but
he replied, „All these years I‟ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you
told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my
friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes,
you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!‟
“His father said to him, „Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have
is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to
life! He was lost, but now he is found!‟”
Additional Thoughts:
Story - Matthew 18:21-35
If you want a great book on this parable- “Return of the Prodigal” by Henri Nouwen. So many
good things in this parable. What I’d throw out to be thinking about in regards to this parable
and VBS is that we are both sons at times.
Don’t miss the grace the father shows his youngest son at the beginning of the parable, as the
sons request is a shameful slap in the face to his father. “You won’t hurry up and die, so can I
just have my money now,” is what the younger son is saying. What would you do if your child
made that request? and yet the father gives the son his inheritance; there is grace in there.
There are great lessons in here about money and fame not being able to buy you true friends.
The younger son returns home, but with no expectations, he’s found humility-“hire me on a
servant”. The fathers reaction, is grace even though he bore the weight of sorrow, rejection,
and long suffering. The ring and robe signify the prodigal as a son.
We find the older son in ourselves too-“Why should they get anything good?” He needs to
come home too, but the father reacts exactly the same way to him, going OUT to meet him,
and what is required of the oldest son is also humility if he’s going to enter into the party.
Interesting the oldest son’s decision is never given, it’s left open.
The younger son’s return is said to be that from death(going away /being lost/separated) and
coming back to life(coming home). We can do the same with God, dyeing to him(going away)
and coming back to life (returning to Him).
Here comes the kicker that Nouwen blew me away with. While we see ourselves fairly easily as
either or both sons at times, what we are called to, is to become the father. We are called to
love so freely and completely that we can grow, then let go of-even if we receive great wounds
in the process- and then patiently wait in sorrow for those we love to return. We are called to
create “homes” like this in our communities, within the group of people we interact with. We
are to be agents of grace.
Verse - Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can‟t take credit for this; it is a gift
from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast
about it.
Yeah, this verse just says it about as plainly as it can be.
Daily Theme- Grace
One thing pointed out to me about Grace not to long ago, was that it isn‟t just a tool of salvation.
Yes, it is by grace we are saved. But grace is an ongoing state and constantly poured out upon us
by God all through our lives. It is by grace we are saved, but it‟s also by grace we grow, and
learn, and it‟s by God‟s grace we have an impact on the world around us. Grace is a constant
blessing in our lives as followers of Jesus and is bigger than just an element of God‟s salvetic
Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, 1949), pp. 426-27.
THE BIBLICAL USE OF THE TERM "GRACE." The word "grace" is not always used in the same
sense in Scripture, but has a variety of meanings. In the Old Testament we have the word chen
(adj. chanun), from the root chanan. The noun may denote gracefulness or beauty, Prov. 22:11;
31:30, but most generally means favour or good-will. The Old Testament repeatedly speaks of
finding favour in the eyes of God or of man. The favour so found carries with it the bestowal of
favours or blessings. This means that grace is not an abstract quality, but is an active, working
principle, manifesting itself in beneficent acts, Gen. 6:8; 19:19; 33:15; Ex. 33:12; 34:9; I Sam
1:18; 27:5; Esth. 2:7. The fundamental idea is, that the blessings graciously bestowed are freely
given, and not in consideration of any claim or merit. The New Testament word charis, from
chairein, "to rejoice," denotes first of all a pleasant external appearance, "loveliness,"
"agreeableness," "acceptableness," and has some such meaning in Luke 4:22; Col. 4:6. A more
prominent meaning of the word, however, is favour or good-will, Luke 1:30; 2:40, 52; Acts 2:47;
7:46; 24:27; 25:9. It may denote the kindness of beneficence of our Lord, II Cor. 8:9, or the
favour manifested or bestowed by God, II Cor. 9:8 (referring to material blessings); I Pet. 5:10.
Furthermore, the word is expressive of the emotion awakened in the heart of the recipient of such
favour, and thus acquires the meaning "gratitude" or "thankfulness," Luke 4:22; I Cor. 10:30;
15:57; II Cor. 2:14; 8:16; I Tim. 1:12. In most of the passages, however, in which the word
charis is used in the New Testament, it signifies the unmerited operation of God in the heart of
man, affected through the agency of the Holy Spirit. While we sometimes speak of grace as an
inherent quality, it is in reality the active communication of divine blessings by the inworking of
the Holy Spirit, out of the fulness of Him who is "full of grace and truth," Rom. 3:24; 5:2, 15;
17:20; 6:1; I Cor. 1:4; II Cor. 6:1; 8:9; Eph. 1:7; 2:5, 8; 3:7; I Pet. 3:7; 5:12.