We're going to sing in just a moment's time, but first, we're gonna have our Bible reading so if you'd like to turn to Luke 15, we're taking a, just a short break, a 1 week break in our colossians series this morning. And, Raulie Kinnaird, 1 of our staff members and elders is gonna preach the word I've got to us shortly. But first, we're gonna read Luke 15 and, and then we'll, and then we'll sing before we hear that preached. Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus but the pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered.
This man welcomes sinners and eats with them. Then Jesus told them this parable. Suppose 1 of you has a hundred sheep and loses 1 of them, doesn't he leave the 99 in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says rejoice with me.
I have found my lost sheep I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over 1 sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who do not need to repent. Or suppose a woman has 10 silver coins and loses 1, doesn't she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says rejoice with me. I found my lost coin in the same way tell you there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of god over 1 sinner who repents. Jesus continued there was a man who had 2 sons.
The younger 1 said to his father, father give me my share of the estate, so he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in the whole country and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no 1 gave him anything.
When he came to his senses, he said, How many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go back to my father and say to him father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer be worthy to be called your son. Make me like 1 of your hired servants. And so he got up and went to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him, He ran to his son through his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him father of sin against heaven and against you, and I'm no longer worthy be called your son, but the father said to his servants quick, bring the best robe and put it on him, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet, bring the fat and calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found, so they began to celebrate.
Meanwhile, the elder son who was in the field When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. And so he called 1 of the servants and asked him what was going on. Your brothers come, he replied, and your father has killed the fat and calf because he has him back safe and sound. The elder brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him, but he answered his father.
Look, all these years, I've been slaving for you. I've never disobeyed your orders, yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home You killed the fat and car for him? My son, the father said, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours, but we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found.
Praise the lord for his word and 3 wonderful stories which we're gonna hear preach to us. First, we're gonna stand and we're gonna sing. Well, good morning from me. My name's, Rory for those who don't know me. I'm 1 of the members of staff here.
And it's it's great to be able to bring god's word this morning. I I wasn't, to be trusted with colossians, It's a bit too intellectual for me. I can only I can only do parables where I can really understand them. No. The reason why, I've chosen to do, Luke this morning is I thought it was a, it's just such a good picture.
This parable of some of the things that we've seen in colossians. So we've seen in colossians, 1, the father who has qualified you to sharing the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light for he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the son he loves in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. And then later on, in verse 21 to 22, it says, once you were alienated from god, and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now, he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body, through death to present you holiness sights without blemish and free from accusation. And that's why I think Luke 15 is such, a wonderful illustration of some of those things that we've we've been seeing and I hope that you're gonna see that as we as we go through it.
Let's pray as we begin, and then we'll see what we have to and what god has to say to us. Father, we thank you so much for your word. We thank you for, the things that we have been seeing in colossians, And we pray that as we look at these parables in Luke 50 that you will help us, help us to see how maybe that that this is such a good illustration of the truths that we've been learning, but but also we pray father that these truths that we hear today will be planted deep into our hearts, and that we will, repent where we need to repent, and we will rejoice where we need to rejoice. So we do pray for your help now in Jesus' name, amen. Now, I wonder when I say the word lost, what images are conjured up in your heads.
I think when when we talk about being lost or losing things, it can mean so many different things. So it might be that you've you've lost just your household items. I remember there was that song that came out where came out in Britain's got talent. Was it? Where's my wallet?
Where's my phone? It's where's keys, they had a dance and stuff. Yeah. We might just be when we think about losing things, we might just be thinking about items, or we might actually think I'm physically lost. There you are, maybe on a journey, and you realize that you've definitely taken a wrong turn down the way, and you've found yourself pretty much lost.
Or I I I was telling the international cafe on Tuesday that I actually got lost at Anfield Stadium as a kid, which, you know, just, serve the purpose for me to hate that place even more than I already do. I'm an everton fan of if you're wondering. Or maybe it's, that feeling of being lost, you know. I, I, I'm, I'm not sure what my meaning is. I'm not sure what my what my purpose is.
And and and in our age, we get this quite a lot with the younger generations, and they're so feeling that they have to go to Thailand to find themselves. And maybe that's you. I was saying actually, the only thing that you find in Thailand is that you found yourself in Thailand, but I don't think you actually I don't think you actually find find yourself. Or maybe it's a relationship, maybe it's a relationship that you've lost. Maybe you've drifted it, drifted out of a friendship or love.
And suddenly there's, you've lost that relationship, or there's been a big breakdown. And there's a lostness there. Or maybe you have been going along and you think You know where you are. And this is the most dangerous, isn't it? You think you know, but actually you're lost.
And and sometimes even though you you may have an inkling, you're convinced that there are some drivers, aren't there when they drive their car that they're so not wanting to be wrong, that they're convinced that they know where they are, that they won't hear that they're lost. Don't know, I'm not mentioning any names there. But when it comes to the Bible, spiritual lostness is something that is clearly seen, and it's clearly seen in the passage that we looked at today. Spiritual lostness is that there is a distance between god and and humans that that that there is something that divides us that separates us from god, that, that sin takes us away and keeps us apart from god. There is a spiritual lostness.
And I think that probably plays into a lot of the illustrations that I've begun with there. And so that's why it's helpful when we come to this chapter in loop to understand what it means to be lost, but what it means to be found. See, in the first verse of this chapter, you would have noticed that there are many people that gather around Jesus to hear him. And who are those people? Well, they're their tax collectors and their sinners.
And what does it mean to be a tax collector and sinner? Well, it means to be morally questionable. These are not the people that you wanna spend your Friday night with. These are what the Jewish people would have would have thought were unclean. They would have maybe been gentiles or if they were tax collectors, they work for the enemy, the Romans, or or they might have been prostitutes.
They were they were people that you did not want to associate with. They were people that if you got on, if they got on the train they sat next to, you would move away from them. There are people in our society that we, we try and cancel as much as we can online are people that maybe, dress differently or, or, or, or speak differently, and we want nothing to do with them. That's these people that are are drawing around Jesus. See, Jesus isn't like us.
He he He welcomes them. He accepts them. He loves them. And that's why they're drawn to Jesus. They're inside, they're they're in.
Around Jesus, they're they're wanting to hear him, they want to to experience him. That's the first group that we see in verse 1. But then we're introduced to a another group in in verse 2. You'll notice that they're that they're on the outside looking in, we have the pharisees and the teachers of the law. And if the tax collectors and the sinners were morally questionable, these guys are morally superior.
I mean, if you want a good person who gets it right, who who obeys the law, these are the these are the people that you wanna see. These are the people you wanna live next door to. These are the people that that are they're so committed to keeping the law that they'll introduce a load of other laws to keep the law. This is they are good people. Or so they think.
No. They're not perfect, but they're about as close to it as you can get. And as they see Jesus talking with this this group of sinners and tax collectors that are are so morally questionable they begin to mutter. And that word mutter is like grumble. It's it's a hard hearted grumbling, and they say, this man welcomes sinners and eats with them.
See, this isn't the first time. It won't be the last time that Jesus has the accusation put forward to him. Luke 5 when Jesus eats with Levi, And in Luke, 19, I think it is when Zachius is converted, he eats with him, and that is an accusation put to put forward to Jesus. And what how does Jesus respond? Does he try and defend himself?
Does he say, hang on. You you got it wrong. No Jesus often responds like this. He responds with parable. And he gives 3 of them.
And you would have noticed there's Tom Reddit that there's 3 things that that pop up in every single 1 of these. Firstly, Somebody's lost. You get a lost sheep. You get a lost coin. You get a lost son.
But then all 3 of those things are found. And then as a result of the finding of those things, there is a party. Did you see in verse 6, rejoiced with me. I have found my lost sheep verse? Verse 9, rejoice with me.
I have found my lost coin. We found it. We're gonna have a party. And then we come into the third parable, and the third parable changes because it doesn't it's no longer things that have no emotion like humans. It was before it was a sheep, and it was a coin, a coins and an inanimate object.
It was more stressing how the the the father or or god, tries to find, but this 1 here now brings in human, and it brings in initiative, and it brings in response from those who listen. So let's have a look at this third parable. And my first point today is the younger son lost and found. The younger son lost and found. And so we come to, the story Jesus says there's a man who's got 2 sons, and the youngest son comes to the to the father in verse 12, and he says, father, give me my share of the estate.
Now, When we read that, I don't think we understand the implications of what the youngest son is saying here. He's not just saying, oh, can you lend me a TEDadadat? This is a shocking, shocking statement. You do not talk about inheritance until someone's dead. The inheritance by Mosaic Law is not given until the father is dead.
So in essence, what this young son is saying is dad, I wish you were dead. I wish you were dead. I want nothing to do with you. I want all your good gifts. I want all your good inheritance.
I wanna take that and I wanna go. Dad, the 1 that you you've loved me, you've you've, brought me up. I want you dead. That's what he's saying. Shuck him, right?
And graciously, the father does so. So he's got 2 sons, and so he probably would have given the son a third of his inheritance. The 2 thirds would go to the older son because they're always favored more. I would numb I don't know if that's true. And so verse 13, it's not just words, it's not, you know, it's this is not just you know, when kids grow up and they're they're really angry with their parents, they say, I hate you.
I wish you were, you know, I was never born. This is, this is, he's backing this up here. And so verse 13, not long not long after that, the youngest son got together all he had set off for a distant country and they're squandered his wealth in wild living. See, he's going, he's really leaving, he's backing up this statement, he's saying, look, I'm getting everything together. I'm not leaving anything with the father.
I am clearly cutting ties with you dad. I want nothing to do with you, and I'm gonna get as far away from you as I possibly can. A distant country he goes in, what does he do? He squanders all his wealth in wild living. Many of you might well know that this, this parable is often called the the parable of the prodigal son.
That wild living is the word prodigal. It's wild reckless living. It's morally questionable living. It's it's giving everything. I can have anything I want.
Sex, drugs, Boos. Whatever it is, I will give it all. I will take it all. I will try and take it all in and let it by me. That's what this youngest son is doing, and he spends, and he spends, and he spends, and he spends until verse 14.
He had spent everything. Nothing left, and then famine hits. Famine. He has nothing left. There is nothing in the land.
He is completely in need. And now he is in a completely desperate situation. So much so that you'll see in verse 15 to 16, it says this, So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no 1 gave him anything. This is a desperate situation.
For a Jewish audience to hear that a Jewish person had gone to feed pigs says that this man is in desperation. You do not touch pigs in the Jewish religion, but he is so in need, he is so desperate that he's even willing to work for them, and he is so hungry. Did you notice that he's even contemplating sharing a meal with the swine. Do you see that this man has been brought to his niece? This man who was so proud at the start and thought he could just go off is now on his knees desperate.
Isn't it amazing that this this younger son thought that when he left his father, he would be free. But he is not free, enslaved. When this younger son left his father He thought I'll find myself. I'm gonna find myself. Yet he is more lost than he was ever before.
This man who thought when I leave the father, I'll have life is now starving to death. And so he's had to be brought to a state so that he can be found. He needs to be aware of his lostness and friends who are here today. For us to be found, we must be put to a state of our lostness. We must understand that we are lost, we must be brought, as some say, to the end of ourselves, to realize that actually, to go away from the father guards is to go away from freedom and life and being found, and it it brings darkness and disaster and chaos and death.
And so maybe you felt this. And maybe you're maybe you're here and you've never been found, and you've you've you've experienced this lostness, and you've experienced this. I I don't have any meaning on, and I've tried to give myself to the things of this world and to find fulfillment and satisfaction, and yet I find none. And all I find is a famine a wilderness in my life as I'm barren with no enjoyment or satisfaction, and I need someone to come and find me. That is a state that we need to find ourselves before we can be found.
And that is the state the younger brother finds himself in. And so what does he do? Verse 17 to 20, read with me When he came to his senses, he said, how many of my father's hired servants have food to spare? And here I am starving to death. I will set out and go back to my father and say to him, father, I have sinned against heaven, and against you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son.
Make me like 1 of your hired servants. So he got up and went to his father. See, he said, what am I doing? I don't know if you, canaries often speak to themselves. And if they make mistakes, they often say, what am I doing?
And and if you've ever played any anything with me, I say, oh, Rory, that's what he's saying. The young I am the younger son as well. Oh, Rory, what am I doing? What do I I'm I'm I'm contemplating eating pig food. What am I doing?
I've got a back where I used to live with my dad, I had everything. And so he comes up with this this plan that, okay, I'll I'll go back I'll say sorry. I'll say sorry for my sin, and I'll just say, dad, I'll just be 1 of your slaves. I'll be 1 of your servants, and I'll and I'll work for you. And so repentance has started.
Repentance has started here. And verse 20, he gets up and he goes to his father. That's the first point. The youngest son lost and found. The youngest son lost and found.
Secondly, though, the father feast for the found. The father feast for the found. Look at the second part of verse 20. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and was filled with compassion for him. That is 1 of my favorite details in this whole story.
Isn't that a lovely detail? The the father that this younger son has rejected and has said I want nothing to do with you and I wish you were dead. That father is looking out for his youngest son. You can imagine it every day. He gets up.
He makes his coffee. It's quasson. Go to the window and he sees his my is the sun returning. He's not returning today. So he goes back the next day and he sees he's returning to them.
He's not returning. He goes back the next day and he's still not there. Goes back and it goes back and it goes back and this goes on time and time and time again. And then in the distance, a speck. And he gets bigger.
This figure gets bigger and bigger, and he sees his son, and he's filled with compassion. And he doesn't just wait for him. I was talking to someone yesterday, and he said he doesn't wait for this son to get there, finally, just waiting with his, you know, tapping the watch and he's saying, well, what have you gotta say for yourself, son? Come on out with it. Come on.
I want a good they better make this good apology. What is the gift you've bought me? He doesn't do that, does he? He's filled with compassion. His heart goes out to his son, and he does something that completely defies cultural protocol in those days.
This is not what fathers should do. Father should not act this way. They are meant to be dignified. And stoic in in some sense and not and not to be fazed by these things, but this son isn't this father is not like that. He is he's not defined by cultural protocol.
He's not gonna be restricted by that. Now, he hitches up his his cloak and he legs it to the father, to the son, sorry. He runs to him. He runs to him. He does what you're not meant to do in this culture, and he runs, and he runs, and when he gets to him, He doesn't just shake his hand like a British person.
He and Britney throws himself on the sun. And kisses him. Do you see the grace here? This son doesn't deserve this. This son doesn't deserve to have the the embrace of the father.
This son doesn't deserve the the father to come out and run to him, yet that's what this father does, because he loves him, and he wants poor his grace on him, but he doesn't just stop there, does he? He doesn't stop there. See, the the the son tries to get the speech out. Look, I I work for you, dad. I'll, you know, I'll I'll work for you and he's the father says none of that.
And I think I think 1 of the reasons why he says, look, none of that. It doesn't say, but I think it's inferred. He's saying, look, you can't work my favor. You can't work for my favorite. You can't earn it.
You can't pay it off. You've you there's nothing that you can do. But I have grace, and that's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna give you my grace. And so he says, he doesn't listen to it, does it, but he says, in, verse, 22, but the father said to his servants quick, bring the best robe and put it on and put a ring on his finger sandals on his feet.
So there's grace upon grace here. A robe is probably the father's robe dressed like royalty. Whoa. A ring on the finger, maybe a signet ring that says you're part of the family. You're a son.
And sandals, in those days, servants didn't wear sandals. He said, I'll be your servant father says you're not gonna be my servant. You're my son. And so more grace and more grace, but if you're not amazed by that amount grace, be amazed by this more grace, because what does he do next verse, 23, bring the fat and calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.
So, trudy, the the fat in calf, you wouldn't kill, unless it was for a huge party. It'd be a wedding feast type of onion and there'll be enough in this cow, beautiful cow bit of beef to feed a whole village. This is gonna be a monumental party. This is the grace of god. He is outrageous.
It's a You may have read a book called The Product God by Tim Keller. And he says, yes, the sun is prodigal in the way that he lives and is wowed and reckless, but Kelly says that god is not reckless in that sense, but reckless in that he just wants to pour out his love and his grace. Upon the son. And why does he do it verse 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found.
So they begin to celebrate. And so he ties in the 2 other parables, and he says, we're gonna have a great party. We're gonna celebrate. The words actually, we're gonna get merry. We're gonna enjoy foods.
We're gonna enjoy good drink. We're gonna party. We're gonna dance because this 1 is found. This is the amazing grace of the father. Does this son deserve it?
Absolutely not. Does he get it? Absolutely. Yes. Ephesians 2, verse, to 12 to 13 says this.
Remember that at the time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise without hope and without god in the world, But now in Christ Jesus, you who are once you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood. Of Christ. I was once far away. I was once lost, but the father laving is his grace on me by giving me the lord Jesus Christ his darling son to shed his blood to the eye who was far away may be found. 1 John, 3, and and verse 1 says this, see what great love The father has lavished on us that we should be called Children of God.
And that is what we are. That is the amazing grace of the Father gods. He lavishes his grace. It's, You may have seen the film Schindler's list. I don't you think, wow, where's it again with this?
And, Shindler's list is is It's a it's a superb film for many reasons. But if you know about the the main character Schindler, he has, a group of Jews that he does everything. He tries to win so many of them. He gives so much to to win them. And at the end of the film, he's he's given all his riches.
He sold so much stuff to to, win some, just some Jews to save them. So that they're not lost for it to lost, but that they're gonna be found. And at the end, he he he is broken because he says I could have given more. I could have given more. I could have given my watch.
I could have given more just to say some more. Do you know what the glorious thing is with the father, he doesn't have to say that He never says I could have given him more because he gave it all. He gave it all in the lord Jesus Christ. He gave everything that he could possibly give the most precious person that he has, the lord Jesus Christ to come. So that we may be found.
So that we may be in the feast. And so do you know? Do you know? Do you know The father, do you know what it is to be found? Do you know what it is to be in this feast?
Do you know what it is to have this joy? Maybe you're here today. I knew you're thinking, I'm just too bad. How could god save someone like me? If if you knew some of the things that I've done, If you knew some of the things that I've said, if you knew some of the things I thought you would have a very different opinion.
None too bad. The son said I wish you were dead. He he gave everything to wild living and reckless living. And yet the father lavishes his grace on him. And so Christians who are here today let us not forget this truth.
How amazing that we are brought into the feast of the found. Let us have joy in that. But thirdly, the elder son lost but not found. Lost, but not found. Now, you may, at this stage, you'll be forgiven for doing this.
You may have forgotten that there was a there was a first son in this story. We've we've spent so much time looking at the the the the youngest son who who mirrors the tax guy and sinners, but now we're we're brought back to this eldest son in verse 25 to 27. And, you'll see, as he as he walks in from work, he eats of here's the distant noise of music, maybe some heavy drum and bass in the, in, in the, in the distance. And then there was, there's lots of chattering and singing and dancing and laughing and he's thinking, and it gets louder and louder and louder and he's thinking, what in the earth is going on here? It must be a pie for some reason.
And so what does he he he asks what's going on in verse 25 to 27. And what is re his reaction when he finds out that the reason there's a party going on is because his younger brother has returned. Well, look at verse 28, the elder brother became angry and refused to go in. He's angry. He can't believe it.
He can't believe that that that that you would let this guy back in and you'd have a party for him. It's a bit like if you ever watch sports, there's there's always a a player who throws his throws his toys out the pram because another player's preferred over him. Yeah? And he storms out or or or maybe it's in work and someone gets promotion above you and and that you see that they get the promotion, you're wide there, not me. You know, all the work I've done, and him, lazy.
Yeah? That's what's going on here. He's angry. And so what does the father do again? Again, look at this grace here, this grace here again.
The father goes out and pleads with him, but he's having none offer. Is he? Looked down with me at verse 29 to 30, but he answered his father. Look. All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders, yet you never gave me even a young goat, so I could celebrate with my friends.
But when this son of yours, who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home. You killed a fastened car for him. See, although he says he's a son and although he is a son, his heart does not reflect that of his father, does it? In fact, his heart reveals that he doesn't even love the father. See, do you see the language he used there?
Slaving. Never disobeying. He's missed grace completely. He thinks that he can earn something and work for something He says, you haven't even given me a goat, you know, you get the fat and calf out, at least give me a lesser animal, give me a goat so that I can go and celebrate with my friends, notice their doesn't want to celebrate with a father, does he? He doesn't really want to have anything to do with the father.
He wants to go off with his mates and eat a goat. And then look how he talks about it. It can't even bring himself to say, my brother, Kenny. This son of yours. And really, not only does he not want this son to have a party.
He wants his son to be judged, And if you know the Old Testament law, if there was a son who was reckless in life like this, the father actually had the right to take him out stone him to death. And I think this this older brother wants that for this younger brother. I want him punished. I don't want him. I don't want him celebrated.
I'm not rejoicing over this this this son of yours. He's totally sicker, and his heart is not aligned to the fathers. But then look at the father. Look how the father responds in verse 31 to 32. My son, the father said.
You are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again. He was lost and is found. That is the point of these 3 parables, if you see in verse 7. I tell you that in the same way, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over 1 sinner who pence, then over 99 righteous people who do not need to repent.
And again, in verse 10, in the same way I tell you there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of god over 1 sinner who repents. That is the heart of our gods. That is the heart of the father. That is the heart of heaven when someone comes and and repents and is going from a state of being lost to a state of being found heaven rejoices. Heaven has it passed.
Isn't that an incredible If you're a Christian here today, I don't know if you knew that. When you became a Christian, they got the party poppers out and maybe even the canon confetti's. Yeah. Out out in in heaven and they were like, yes. And the angels sang and the father sang with joy that you had come to know him as father again that you came to be in the family of God.
That is heaven. Heaven does that. When someone is saved, when someone is found, when someone is made alive, there is a party in heaven. And if you're truly the fathers, he says this. If you are like me, you will celebrate.
If you are my person, you will be a celebrator You will join with me with my people and with my angels, and you will celebrate. This elder brother should be in the party rejoicing. Yet, where does Jesus leave him? On the outside? See, in many ways, I think although although the younger brother left home and got lost physically, This elder brother is even more lost.
This elder brother is 1 of those people who think that they know where they're going, but are completely lost. He's more lost than the younger brother, and there is a warning here So you might look like your, you know the way. You may look like you're found. But actually you may be lost more than any others. You might think I'm okay.
I'm good. I I I I do the right things. I I slave away for god. You might not say it that way. And I'm not as bad as that other person.
I'm not as bad as that person. I'm morally better than that person. And and and and actually maybe you lack grace and you lack what what grace is and Really, you're just now the brother who's who's more lost than than any other. Wonder if you noticed that in all 3 parables, there is something lost and there is something found. Yet there is 1 that is lost and is not found.
And that is the elder brother. And Jesus leaves them out on the outside just as these pharisees and these teachers of the law are on the outside muttering that Jesus would would dare to to draw sinners in, and they mutter, and they grumble. And Jesus says, look, I'm leaving this elder brother on the outside. But look, as well, there is an invitation, isn't there? Did you notice that there is an invitation for the elder brother?
Jesus can be quite harsh with the pharisees if you read the Bible, but he does love them. He absolutely loves them. And the father yearns for the elder brother to come in to the party as well. He pleads with him. And so just as the elder brother, he wants him into the party, he wants the pharisees and the teachers of the law, he wants you, If you think you're okay and you don't need his grace, he wants you to come into the party.
The the Bible tells us about the the father. He he he holds his hands out all day long, pleading with people, and obstinate people that refuse to come in, he says, come in, come in, come in. Come in every day at the window looking out for you. Every day holding his arms out saying, come and be a part of my family, come and be a child of god, come and know the feast of the light that is heaven. And so are you on the outside?
If it is, come in, come in. And so, lastly, are you lost or are you at the feast of the found? Where are you? Maybe as I've spoken here, you realize that you are 1 of those lost people. You are 1 of those people that I actually thought, I've done so much wrong in my life, and I've done so many things that that I know would displease god but I can feel that I'm lost.
I can feel I have no meaning. I can feel I have no purpose. I feel that famine in me, and I I just desire to be full again. Well, come. Come.
Be found. Be found today. Now the embrace of a loving father. Know the feast of the father. And maybe you need to check yourself.
Am I lost? Am I really going the right way? If that's you, listen to the plea of the father, come in come in, come in. And Christian brothers and sisters keep coming to the feast. Keep coming into the feast, daily, come into the feast, know what it is to be found daily, know what it is to be alive daily, know what it is to be free, daily, and no joy.
They're not unhappy, are they? That no one's coming to the party devastated. They're rejoicing. Should we not be rejoicing brothers and sisters? We've been found.
We deserved we deserved to be cast out because we rejected the father and we said we wish he was dead, yet he paused his love on those who wished he was dead. And said be a part of my family. Let's rejoice, but let's not just rejoice in our own salvation. But we must rejoice when we know of those who come to know Jesus for the first time, let us rejoice when we hear of sinners repentance. Let us join with the celebration of heaven, the party of heaven.
And let's celebrate and dance together. You don't have to actually dance that those are coming to know Christ. Well, maybe think of, through some of the waters just being said, and then Tom will bring us to a close. Father, we thank you for that magnificent vision of your grace and compassion. That you are willing to welcome us back no matter what we've done.
We thank you lord that no matter how messy our lives are and how far we've run away. We can come home to you. We can repent. We can turn back. Assured of a warm embrace from a father who loves us.
Help us not to be like this older son who thinks that you are just a slave driver in heaven who works and works and works demanding a reward and ends up bitter and lonely and cold. Help us lord to come to you whoever we are and to feast with the father in Jesus' name. Our,