The Parables #48

Luke 15:11-32 – The Prodigal’s Recovery and Repentance 17-19.
Could the Saviour have devised a clearer means of setting forth the truth of His love and mercy to sinners than by this parable? What condemnation will come upon those of every nation and age who have heard this parable and yet refused to come to Christ. Surely, if those who have but the light of nature are without excuse, then those who have sat in the light of this parable are condemned indeed.
In our last study, the prodigal was brought very low. He was starving, coveting the food that the swine had. The word “fain” means to “covet”.
This is the level to which sin reduces a man. He was coveted the food of pigs.
It was at this point that we read, “he came to himself.”  He had been away from himself. That is, “out of himself”. Sin deranges the mind and makes the sinner act contrary to his best interests. “The heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live,” Eccles 9:3. He is his own worst enemy. He sees his best Friend as an enemy. “And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? 1 Kings 21:20. “And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus,” Luke 6:11. “And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities,” Acts 26:11. “Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart,” Ephesians 4:18.
Grace grants wisdom, it makes us wise. “And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid,” Mark 5:15.
This the mind God grants to the sinner He would save!
The work of grace and recovery may be seen to begin from the moment that he began to be in want. From then on he began to feel the leanness of the far country.
1. Notice that the citizen of the land was not in want. Woe to the man who is content and well fed in the far country.
2. His want made him to realise that the swine were better off then he. “I perish.” Pigs live a better life than you who reject God’s mercy. He envied the pigs! The sinner rebels and rejects the high privileges that are offered him in the gospel. Perishing now and will perish in eternity. The word ‘perish’ is from the same root as ‘destruction’   in I Thess 1:9.
1. The mercy enjoyed there. The hired servants, the lowliest in the house, are well treated. “The queen of Sheba,” 1 Kings 10:4-5. How many there are who enjoy this blessing.“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands,” Revelation 7:9.
2. The abundance enjoyed there. “Bread to spare”. Luke 9:17. Widow’s barrel, 1 Kings 17:16.  Heaven’s bounty will never be exhausted. The unsatisfying husks made him think of his father’s bread.
3. This abundance is enjoyed because of the One whose house it is. 
a. The Father. In character He is gracious and merciful. The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy, Psalm 145:8, Micah 7:18. But God, who is rich in mercy, Eph 2:4.
b. He is all-powerful. There is nothing He cannot do for His children.