TEXT: Luke 15:11-32
INTRO: God declared, “Honor your Father and Mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” That leaves us with the earnest question, what does a father or mother have to do to deserve to be honored?
I. A FATHER OF HONOR DIGNIFIES HIS CHILDREN’S PERSONHOOD. (11-12)
A. READ vss. 1-2. Fathers don’t always have to be honorable. 1.) In a culture of “Patria Potestas” (“to imprison, to scourge, to put in chains, keep at work in the fields, or put to death.” This was common and did not end until the father died, then it passed to the oldest male or to a new family.) a father’s power could leave children feeling less than human.those days. 2.) A father did not owe a child any inheritance until the older man died. 3.) The son knew the commandment to “honor [his] father and mother” and he completely ignores it.
B. But, by law, by tradition, by godly command, and common courtesy, the young man treated His father with no respect. But the father does not respond in kind.
C. Eph. 5:4, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger” and writes again in Col. 3:21, ‘Fathers, do not exasperate your children, that they may not lose heart.” Every father who wants his children to grow up feeling worthy, should treat them as though they are worthy.
II. A FATHER OF HONOR RESPONDS TO HIS CHILDREN IN GODLINESS.
A.READ 13- 24. I want to point out GODLY characteristics we can see in this father. 1.) He was patient in his love. 2.) He was forgiving in face of being disrespected. 3.) He owed the son nothing, but offered reconciliation rather than punishment.
B. Jesus told this story for the very purpose of illustrating the great love and forgiveness of our Heavenly Father for each of us who have disrespected Him and gone our own way, only to end up with a wasted life and a hopeless future. But a secondary purpose is to explain a father’s role in reflecting God.
III. A FATHER OF HONOR DESIRES UNITY AND LOVE BETWEEN HIS CHILDREN.
A. READ vss. 25-32. The older son wanted nothing to do with his younger brother’s return.
1.) Legally, the younger son no longer had an inheritance in the family.
2.) Second, the older son felt like his father was being unjust and showing favoritism for the younger son.
3.) The father had not even consulted with his older son about the matter.
The wise father reminds him of 2 important truths:
a.) The son had lived in the presence of his father and all the privileges and security that came with that while the younger son had suffered in personal loneliness.
b.) His brother, his blood kin and sibling, had, for all practical purposes, been dead. But now, like a gift from heaven, he was alive again, the family was reunited.
B. Ps.133, “How pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” Every father should make it his goal to see that his children live in unity and love with each other. He shall be a peacemaker and an example of God’s love.
Col. 3:12-14, “And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone, just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” The father that does these things honors both his children and His God and is honored for it.