A Tale of Two Sons

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A Tale of Two Sons
Text: Luke 15:11-32
Occasion: Fathers Day
Audience: Adults
Theological Tradition: Wesleyan
Topic: fatherhood, approval, love
Author: Edwin Weaver


The acceptance and love we seek from a father and should pass on to our kids we find in God.

How to Get There

  • The mother's role in life is simple, unconditional love. The father's role is a lot more complicated.
  • What we get from our dad's, or what we try to get, is approval. We want to know our fathers are proud of us.
  • We can't change our childhood, though. We know we want this self-esteem we should get from our father, but how do we change the cycle?
  • This story is about a dysfunctional family, two brothers and their dad.
    • The younger brother, by wanting his inheritance first, was in essence saying he wished his dad was dead already. Then he liquidated that inheritance (land, animals) which had been in the family for generations and wasted it.
    • This was a public insult, rejection of the father, and even rejection of his nation and people.
    • The older son had issues too. Rembrandt's image of the older brother seething with anger is right. He pouts because he wasn't the center of attention. He was judgmental and disrespectful of his father and his brother. Others would have seen this disrespect.
  • Both of these sons have the wrong perception of the father's love, it got distorted in their minds somehow.
  • The father never has to run, and yet he forgets his dignity and can only think about his children both times. He runs and meets the younger with open arms, then finds the older as well.
  • The father shows love completely and without reservation here, which is Jesus' answer to why he is spending time with sinners. There is enough love in the Father for both sons, those who sin and those who think they are better.
  • More important than our physical parents, is that God the father loves us and runs to us, calls us His child. The father seeks out his children, always pursuing us with his love.
  • God gives that affirmation we all need. He called Jesus “you are my beloved, in whom I am well pleased.”
  • That is what God is trying to convince us of right now. We are loved, cherished. And that is what we need to pass onto our children and use as our basis for our self worth.

Things to Watch For

  • This message is helped by the most recent statistics on the role of a father in the home and what happens more often without a father around.
  • Henry Nouwen's "Return of the Prodigal Son" and Rembrandt's painting are excellent thins to look into for this message.

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