Lostness and a Tale of Three Sons

From Help for Shepherds
Jump to: navigation, search

Back to Message Ideas

Lostness and a Tale of Three Sons
Text: Luke 15:1-32
Occasion: General
Audience: Adult
Theological Tradition: Wesleyan
Topic: Love, Forgiveness
Author: Dick Emery


God's love for us is unquenchable.

How to Get There

  • Many people feel very lost and alone, despairing even, and for a whole
  • With these stories, Jesus is contrasting his view of lost people with that of the religious leaders of the day, and also saying that everyone experiences being lost from time to time.
  • The first parable (lost sheep) shows that we can be lost because of a wondering mentality, just searching around for something to fill the void in our lives. But we are significant to God, so God comes after us to find us and fill that void.
  • We can also be lost to the awareness of others (the lost coin). This coin was misplaced through no fault of its' own. And again, God is shown to be seeking, even when we cannot even bleat out our problems. Others may write us off, but God never does.
  • In the third story, Jesus shows how we can be lost when we are victimized by our own self-will and independence.
  • The younger son would have shocked everyone with his request for money from his father. This inheritance was only supposed to be given out when he was dead. In the story, this illustrates people wishing God were dead, open rebellion.
    • God loves us so much, however, that He lets us go, he gives us free will.
    • The younger son sees his father as an employer, not as a loving father.
    • We often try and buy our salvation from God when we mess up, much like the younger son. But God won't have that. We can't earn forgiveness, but God gives it freely.
  • The elder son had a different problem. He had a responsibility to help host his father's party. And by staying away he was insulting his father.
    • But the father comes to his son anyway, for the second time going to someone who by rights should have come to the father.
    • This son sees himself as a slave instead of a son. He wants justice, not mercy, not love.
    • The second son shows you don't have to be far from God to tear yourself far away from God's heart.
  • The point of all of these stories is that God's love for us is unquenchable.
  • The third son is the one telling the story, Jesus. He is with the father and the father with him. He is eager to welcome children back to his father. He runs to us and died for us.

Things to Watch For

The use of a third son is one that could raise some hackles. But in the context of the parables, it is about God and God's sons. And Jesus is God's son. The only thing is that this message could imply that there are literally more sons like JEsus and he came because he's the best one. That's some serious heresy so there needs to be a distinguishment between the metaphor and reality.

Other Ideas that use this Topic:

Error creating thumbnail: File with dimensions greater than 12.5 MP
Onesimus giving Philemon Paul's letter and begging forgiveness.Image