Two children in the family
Luke 15:11-32; BCBC/IOUC; 7/18/2021; Rev. Paul Wang
Today there are not many families with two children, and the phenomenon of only child is very common. But it is short-lived after all, and the concept and challenge of having two children in the family still exist. Looking at children from the perspective of parents, it is not about the number of children, but the quality as they grow up, and their spiritual quality. Let’s look at the first point：
The runaway of the younger son
Maybe no matter how fair the parents are, they will inevitably encounter the challenge of “two children in the family”. First of all, the family property of the younger son. Does the younger son have a family property? This is actually a false proposition, right? The family property was founded by the father, what does it matter to you? Giving you is grace, not giving you is reasonable! Why do you say: “Please give me the property I deserve!” Why should the father give him the property? The father should tell him: Why do you deserve the family business? Do I owe you? Have you noticed that here, the father is soft-hearted, and the youngest son is playing psychological tactics. The belonging of the family business is the illusion that people are really chasing in their hearts, and often the original intention does not match the ending.
Second, the departure of the younger son. People are always in a paradoxical loss in gains and losses, do you agree? After the younger son gets the property, leaving is not the only option. So why did he leave? This is determined by the nature of human sin, do you agree? The Bible says that sinners are like sheep going astray, turning to their own way, and failing to follow the right path, but they have lost their lives! Once a person is bound by sin, it will show two words: one is to escape, and the other is to hide, just like the escape and hiding of Adam and Eve. Therefore, the Bible records: “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. ” As long as a person chooses to escape and hide from God, his life will inevitably be bohemian.
Finally, the younger son is exhausted. People are very limited, energy, physical strength, and spiritual strength are a system. If the operation loses balance, it will be out of balance. Once unbalanced, it will inevitably lead to exhaustion. This phenomenon also occurs in our daily lives, right? Poor eating, lack of sleep, low mood, bad temper, poor efficiency, etc. Have you experienced them? This is already on the verge of exhaustion, right? If you go further, you will reach the point of the younger son: “After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.” Being poor does not necessarily mean that there is no money, it may be that there is only money left! The more you care about money, the more you can experience a sense of lack! You always feel that you don’t have enough money to spend, the more money you have, the more you feel that others are richer than yourself! The essence of exhaustion is the dryness of the soul. The walking dead is a pattern of withered life. Let’s look at the second point:
The loss of the older son
When our eyes are focused on the younger son, the older son appears on the stage of life in an inadvertent way. Who would have thought that the prodigal son who is not the prodigal son would live at home all the time, do you agree? First of all, the older son who works hard. Parents are usually at ease with a good son in the family, right? Since childhood, parents have been overjoyed and proud of learning well, doing good homework, and being loved! However, parents may have forgotten that the child meets the requirements of the parents and may not be able to cope with the challenge outside. Do you agree? The eldest son worked for his father in his father’s field, but never lived for God in his heart. Without God in a man’s heart, of course he cannot bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit. If you can start from scratch, are you willing to keep your child’s focus on God? Satisfying the parents’ own expectations does not mean being able to deal with the storms of life. Agree?
Second, the older son who keeps his distance. The younger son’s return home is undoubtedly a storm for the elder son, right? The original dream is broken! The original plan to monopolize the family property may be in vain! When the younger brother goes home, the older brother doesn’t have to go to see it, he should know it by feeling alone. However, the older son chose to keep his distance from his father and younger brother! He even called a servant to come over and ask the reason, and asked literally: What’s the matter, the house is so lively? what? The prodigal son is back?
The father even brought the fattened calf and killed it. When people are caught in sin and cannot extricate themselves, they usually use emotions to keep their distance from God. The Bible says: The older brother became angry and refused to go in. It seems to be a child who has not grown up, do you feel familiar with it?
Finally, the older son who complained. Job suffered a suffering that neither you nor I experienced, and it came from the Lord God Himself. However, the Bible records that Job did not even complain, saying that there was no sin in his mouth. But today the older son is full of complaints! He complained that his father had not killed even a sheep for him, and he was jealous that his father “brought the fattened calf and killed it.” for his brother! He even called his younger brother “this son of yours”， as if it had nothing to do with himself! do you know? Dear brothers and sisters, our complaints only offend God, do you know? It is the wisdom that pleases God to hold back the flesh, to be angry and not utter it, and to choose to pray to God alone. Let’s look at the third point:
What father values
Maybe the two sons have different opinions, but ignore the father’s will, right? What exactly does the father value? First, it is the awakening of the younger son. The father knew the depravity of the younger son, but he was helpless, right? It is not difficult to imagine the younger son, “ he longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.” The distant water could not save the nearby fire, and the father could only be anxious! However, what is beyond the ability of the father is the touch of the Holy Spirit, and only the Holy Spirit can wake up the younger son! The father saw the power of the Holy Spirit manifested in the younger son, and the father saw hope! With man it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
Second, the repentance of the younger son. If the Holy Spirit is moved, but the mind is unwilling to repent, and even more unwilling to express repentance, it will still not help! Since it is wrong, why not admit it? The younger son caught his father’s heart, “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.’ “ Is it so difficult? What’s wrong with admitting a mistake? Can’t you live without a face? What is the bottom line in your mind? Do you really think you have something worthy of it? Is your temper very good? Is your persistence valuable? Do you know that Heavenly Father is waiting for you? He is waiting for you to repent, waiting for you to express your repentance and humility to Him! Did you know that Heavenly Father’s compassion has moved, and he is looking forward to your return! Because He is love!
Finally, the satisfaction of lost and found. This is the truth that most people, including the older son, cannot understand. It is God’s obsession with loss and recovery! In Adam, Heavenly Father has lost the ancestors of mankind. In Christ, the heavenly Father wants to regain the new mankind, the new mankind justified by faith, and his new creation! However, the older son took a moral and ethical standpoint and criticized the younger son in a completely negative way, which broke his father’s heart. How would he know, his father said: “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.” This is the heart of Jesus Christ, the heart of the gospel, the heart of salvation, and the heart of God’s love for the world!
Well, dear brothers and sisters, today’s sermon “Two children in the family” is finished. Whether it is the departure of the younger son or the loss of the older son, the answer must be found in the mind of the father! Do you want to?
Let us pray……