Descendants: Repentance

Luke 15:17-20
The prodigal is standing in a field, slopping hogs and starving when the light bulb goes on; he comes to his senses. It is like he wakes up from a dream and finds himself standing in the middle of Grand Central Station in his underwear and his reaction is ‘What in the name of sense am I doing here?’ The foolishness of his attitudes and his behavior becomes blindingly clear. In the light of this epiphany, he decides to go home, to return to his father and do what he can to restore some kind of relationship with him. It is either that or starve to death.

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Descendants: Dependence

Luke 15:13-16
A vote was recently taken in the nation of Scotland. Many were hopeful that Scotland could adopt a referendum to separate itself from England and establish itself as an independent country. One specific campaign in favor of this referendum in Scotland was named, “Spirit of Independence”. The campaign’s name has a noble and almost romantic sound to it. Most Americans would agree that our own nation highly values independence and would even fight to maintain our own national independence. But within the kingdom of God, there is no value in independence. Independence is the antithesis of God’s will. God values our total dependence on Him.

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Descendants: Joseph & the Prodigal

Luke 15:13-16
The prodigal son squandered his wealth far from his father. He had only one concern, to satisfy his own desires. But his wasteful extravagant lifestyle led to extreme want. He found himself in a situation that would be intolerable to a Jew, feeding pigs and worse, wanting to eat what they were eating. The Jews listening to Jesus’ story would have been cringing if not outraged at this action. Moving away from the Father results in disaster.

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Descendants: The Son & His Agenda

Luke 15:13-16
This younger son packs up all that he has and heads for the big city, a distant country, presumably where no one knows him nor do they know his father. When he arrives, it doesn’t take long for the party to begin and it doesn’t end until the money is gone. To make matters worse, famine strikes on top of the initial disaster of going broke. All of his good time friends disappear and he finds himself alone, a stranger in a strange land and in need. This young man sets about doing what needs to be done and begins looking for a job in a ‘buyers’ market and probably without a lot of skills to offer those prospective employers. He finds that job and ends up out in a field, starving and hungry while feeding his bosses pigs and wishing that he could share in what he is giving to them. The pigs that he is tending are being taken care of better than he is. To say the least, this isn’t a pretty picture.

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Descendants: Father & Son

Luke 15:11-12
On the heels of “tax collectors and sinners” coming to Jesus, the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law, with obvious disdain and dissatisfaction, observe that Jesus not only welcomes these sinners, but actually eats with them. This certainly does not keep the letter of the law, which the Pharisees hold as the way to righteous living. Sinners are outcasts and should be treated as such. If Jesus truly is a prophet from God, he would behave more religiously. Here, Luke records a trilogy of similar parables addressing this attitude, culminating in the third, dealing not with mere objects having been lost, but a human. What Jesus would have his audience come away with from the story is that God is represented by the father in this parable and the younger son is us every time we choose to reject Him and go astray.

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Descendants: Adam, Eve & Contentment

Luke 15:11-12
The prodigal son was not the first person to seek something beyond what his father was already providing. We are not told the reason the prodigal son decided to take what was his and leave his family, there are many reasons possible but we only have to look at Adam and Eve for insight. When we go back to the first couple, we see children abandoning their Father.

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Descendants: Father & Free Will

Luke 15:11-12
We have a father and his two sons. There is family, there is relationship between these men; a father and his sons trying to do whatever it is that families do. We have no idea whether there is a mother in the background or any other children. All we have is a man and his two sons when the younger of the sons confronts his father and demands his portion of the inheritance.

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