Peace – Prayer – Joy – Love

Child of Love: Becoming A Child

Child of Love: Becoming a Child

  1. What does it mean to Become Like a Child … a Beloved Child of God?
    1. Jesus says we must be like one of these children (Mark 9 & 10)
    2. Parable of the Two Lost Sons in Luke 15 (Prodigal Son)
  2. What we see going on in this parable
    1. Characters:
      1. Father (God)
      2. Younger Son (Tax Collectors & Sinners)
      3. Elder Son (Pharisees & Scribes)
  1. Luke 15:1 “Now all the tax collectors & sinners were coming near to listen to him.  And the Pharisees & the scribes were grumbling & saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’”
  1. A little cultural background to this SCANDALOUS story
    1. Inheritance
      1. What the younger son gets
      2. What it means to ask for it
    2. Patriarch
      1. How the Father/Patriarch behaves
    3. Two illustrations of being a child do we see here?
      1. Almost polar opposite examples here:
      2. Younger Son – impulsive & wasteful free spirit
        1. Not interested in the father or his love
        2. Wants only what the father has to give
      3. Elder Son – dutiful & rules keeping spirit
        1. Not interested in the father or his love
        2. Wants only what the father has to give
      4. Seeing the character of God in the parable’s father
        1. Maybe we should understand what prodigal actually means:
          1. Spending money or resources freely and recklessly; wastefully extravagant.
          2. Having or giving something on a lavish scale.
        2. Prodigal son … how about Prodigal father … or Prodigal God?
        3. Tim Keller describes it this way in his book, Prodigal God “In this story the father represents the Heavenly Father Jesus knew so well. St. Paul writes: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses” (2 Corinthians 5:19—ASV). Jesus is showing us the God of Great Expenditure, who is nothing if not prodigal toward us, his children. God’s reckless grace is our greatest hope, a life-changing experience, and the subject of this book.”
      5. Seeing ourselves in the parable’s two lost sons
        1. Remember who the audience is for this parable
          1. Tax Collectors & Sinners (Younger Sons) Did the younger son lose the father’s love?
          2. Pharisees & Scribes (Elder Sons) Did the older son earn the father’s love?
        2. Do you think either son, really understood the Gospel?
          1. If you have not grasped the gospel fully and deeply, you will return to being condescending, condemning, anxious, insecure, joyless, and angry all the time. (Keller)
          2. Do you realize, then, what Jesus is teaching? Neither son loved the father for himself. They both were using the father for their own self-centered ends rather than loving, enjoying, and serving him for his own sake. This means that you can rebel against God and be alienated from him either by breaking his rules or by keeping all of them diligently. (Keller)
        3. Do you notice how the parable is left open ended?
          1. Do you think that was intentional?
          2. Do you think Jesus was offering an invitation?‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’
        4. This is the Good News for us in Jesus’ parable! Nothing we do can merit God’s grace and favor, we can only believe that he has given it to us in Jesus Christ
          and receive it by faith. But if we truly believe & trust in the one who sacrificially served us, it changes us into people who sacrificially serve God and our neighbors.

          1. We are freed & empowered to be prodigal with each other, because…
          2. We are loved, even when we don’t deserve it; younger son.
          3. We are liberated from rules keeping legalism; elder son.
          4. We are invited into the feast of God’s love at this table…
          5. Even though both sons are wrong, however, the father cares for them & invites them both back into his love & feast. This means that Jesus’s message, which is “the gospel,” is a completely different spirituality. The gospel of Jesus is not religion or irreligion, morality or immorality, moralism or relativism, conservatism or liberalism. Nor is it something halfway along a spectrum. (Keller)

The Gospel is this self-sacrificing, other-oriented, unearned love that we remember HERE at this table; each of us as a Child of Love…


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