Descendants: The School of Hard Knocks

Luke 15:17-20
Coming to himself as he stands in that field, the prodigal comes face-to-face with himself. He sees with God given clarity and focus the reality of who he is. There is no softening the blow, no explaining away the reality of what he sees. This is a straight right hand to the face, a bloody-nose that stops him dead in his tracks and forces him to pay attention to what is directly in front of him. This moment is a turning point, a graduation certificate from the School of Hard Knocks, one that I don’t think the prodigal, nor his father, would trade for the world.

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Descendants: Family

Luke 15:17-20
I have to wonder if as the prodigal son sat there looking at the pigs he saw a sow with her piglets and thought, “I don’t even have a family now.” Starving and thinking of family it hit him that his father’s servants were better off than him. He might not be in the family but maybe his father would be kind enough to at least let him be one of the workers.

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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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