Perhaps, thus far, the series has been a review of what you already know. Perhaps not. Either way, I think you are really going to appreciate the added context brought to you in today’s teaching.
Let’s spend some time with this verse:
The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.Luke 15:12
The younger son asked his father for his inheritance. Let that sink in. He. Asked. His. Father. For. His. Inheritance.
I think so often we read that line, take it for granted, and then continue with the story. We’re not doing that today. There’s too much in this sentence that we need to grab ahold of.
Times haven’t changed so much between when Luke wrote this and today, in that people traditionally still have to die before their loved ones receive an inheritance. By asking for his inheritance, the younger son is essentially wishing his father was dead. He wanted what the father had to offer, but not his father himself.
Do you think we sometimes do that with our Heavenly Father? We want what He has to offer, but not Him. The younger son wanted an inheritance that was meant to be his, but before he was meant to have it. How often do we want what we want now, but before God is ready to give it to us?
The inheritance and EVERYTHING that father had to offer would have been the son’s anyway, but only after he spent a lifetime of fellowship in the family.
To add insult to injury, the younger brother wasn’t just wishing his father dead, but he was also asking his father to rip his life apart. Here’s why…
Although the verse says that the father divided his property, that doesn’t necessarily mean evenly. You see, in those days the oldest would receive double of what the other children received. In this case, that means that the older son would get 2/3s, and the younger would get 1/3. Regardless of which portion which son got, the effect on the father would have been the same. The father’s assets would have primarily been in real estate, crops and animals. Its not like the father could transfer a third of his net worth via a singular, hassle-free Venmo transaction. It’s not like he had assets in the bank at all.
So what does this father have to do to pass along the inheritance?
He needs to liquidate his assets.
He needs to sell off his livelihood.
He needs to rip his life apart…all to give away the lesser portion of the inheritance.
Do we know of anyone else who was willing to give it all for His heirs? We spend much more time looking at the father in week three, but his resemblance to our Heavenly Father cannot be denied. Nonetheless, we mention how dire of a situation the parable’s inheritance debacle is so we can more fully appreciate the depraved nature of the son.
Luckily, by the grace of God, nobody, including the younger son, needs to remain in that depraved and sinful state. We don’t need to stay in our distant country of choice. We have options. Tomorrow, let’s start to look at those and see which path may be better than the rest.
Did you know I created a worship playlist just for this series!
Celebrate a good, good Father who is always calling and welcoming his children home!