Stop Eating Slop
Topic: Sin Scripture: Luke 15:1–:24
Stop Eating Slop
Luke 15: 1-37 (ESV)
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.
A lot happens in this opening verse.
First there is a man with two sons. According to Jewish history the oldest son was entitled to a double portion as he would be the one responsible to take care of the family if something were to happen his father.
An inheritance would in time be given to both sons. Two-thirds of the estate would be given to the oldest son, while one-third of the estate would be given to the youngest son.
Proverbs 13:22 (ESV)
22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous.
Hopefully you plan to leave something for your children as well.
I suspect it was not in the Fathers’ plan to give to the young man his inheritance until a later date, when he was more mature. Otherwise he would have done so.
That changed one day when his youngest son demands his portion of the inheritance that was his and he wanted it that very moment.
What was the reason for this sudden change in behavior in this young man?
- Did he think that his father was not doing a good enough job investing his money, and that he could do better?
That was not the case, he would not invest the inheritance but squander it all away.
One possibility for this sudden demand is that he was tired of living by daddy’s rules and wanted to live by himself and for himself. He was looking for a way to gratify the flesh.
It was hard to live the way that he wanted to live while living in his Father’s house.
His father had rules and morals.
Just a side note, a good parent keeps their children from doing evil by establishing rules and consequences if those rules are broken. As a father I am not called to be their friend. They have friends. I am called to steer them away from evil and point them toward what is good.
Yet for this young man, he was only concerned with the now.
It looks good now, so I want it, it looks like it will feel good now so I will pursue it, it looks like it will gratify now so I must have it at whatever cost.
Before we are too judgmental on this young man, we must look at our own lives.
- How many of you have purchased items you later regretted but in the moment, you felt you needed that item, and you needed it now?
- When was the last time that you have given into a temptation because it appeared to gratify your fleshly desire now?
If we are not careful we can easily find ourselves in the same place as this young man satisfying the “now” desires of our lives.
A person who is set on pleasing the flesh, does not take into consideration how their choices affect the lives of those who love them.
So, it was in this story. The youngest son took no thought of how his words and actions would hurt the heart of his father. This younger son was very foolish and extremely selfish. He only cared about himself.
13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need.
Vs 13 says he “gathered up all he had and took a journey into a far country.” In other words, he wanted to be as far as possible from anything that looked like a restraint on his newly found lifestyle. He wanted to live life his way with nobody to tell him any different.
The truth is it may have felt great for a season to do whatever he wanted with whomever he wanted. However, his sin was short lived.
Sin may feel great for a while, but eventually it will leave you feeling empty and worthless.
15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
Look at where his sin had lead him. He was the son of a good man even a Godly man. Living in a great place with a great family.
Now he finds himself feeding pigs, and not only feeding them but also desiring the food they were eating.
That is the whole thing with sin. It might feel good for a moment, but ultimately it will lead you to a place in which you are eating the same slop as the pigs around you.
Sin will deprive you of your purpose.
He was not a pig feeder, that was not his true purpose. He was the son of a good father.
In fact, in the Jewish culture pigs were unclean animals and forbidden to touch. Yet the very thing that had been forbidden had become his way of life.
Perhaps some of you have done the same thing. The very thing that God has prohibited you to do is the very same thing that you keep going back to.
Every time you go back to those sins it is as though you go back to Feeding the pigs. You get surrounded by the pigs, you begin eating with the pigs.
Meanwhile you are forfeiting your purpose as sons and daughters of the most-high God.
You were created for something greater! Stop Eating Slop!
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father.
I am so grateful that Jesus put this part in this parable.
- How hopeless we would be, if this story ended at this young man feeding himself with pig slop. A wrecked future, an abandoned purpose, a life of despair, a life filled with utter slop.
Thankfully Jesus begins to tell of the man’s repentance. “When he came to himself” in other words when he realized who he was, he then realizes who his Father was. When he realized who his father was, he realized that his father had the potential to change who he was.
He also realized it was nothing of his doing that could put him back in right standing with his father. He was totally dependent on the mercy of his father. He could say yes or no.
One question that had to be on his mind was
- Would his father even welcome him back after squandering away everything and defiling himself the way he did?
We too deal with this struggle.
- We think “Surely I have done too many wrong things for God to still love me.”
If we think such thoughts we don’t understand the love of God. To get a better understanding of His love for us, let’s look at the love of this father in this parable.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
The father in this story never took his eyes off his son as he ventured off to squander his life away. He was watching, even anticipating his return home each day.
While he was still a long way off, remember he had taken a journey into a far country, his father saw him and felt compassion for him. The father ran and embraced him and kissed him.
It is not just a coincidence that all 3 of these parables (The lost sheep, The lost coin, The prodigal son) just so happened to appear together in Luke 15?
Jesus is really trying to get His point across.
His point that there is great joy in heaven amongst all the angels when one sinner repents and turns back to God, and that our heavenly Father is awaiting the day that we quit feeding ourselves with pig slop and be reinstated as His Sons and Daughters.
Sin separates us from our Heavenly Father. During that time of separation, we miss out on His loving embrace.
How the prodigal must have felt to once again feel his father’s embrace, and to have that weight of guilt and shame removed from his life.
When we sin and mess up, satan our adversary would love to keep you distant and separated from our Father’s love. He will use guilt and shame to keep us from drawing close to God.
It took a great deal of courage for the young man to come home again not knowing how his father would react.
To his surprise there was no reaction on his fathers’ part, only a loving response.
21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
There is a great celebration that takes place when sinners repent and turn from their ways.
Through this parable we get a clear picture of our Heavenly Father’s love for us.
Ultimately, He is the good Father who has laid up an eternal inheritance for His sons and daughters.
It is His will that we would patiently wait for the fulfillment of our inheritance.
However, He is a loving Father and will not impose his will on us, just as the father in this parable did not prevent his son from leaving the house. God has created us with a free will.
He desires that we would freely choose Him and His ways. But when we don’t, He simply gives us up to the lusts in our hearts.
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
It is because of our sin, our lust, our selfish choices, our worship of creation over the creator that drives us away from His presence.
It is those very things that will leave us filling empty, void and separated.
The good news in this story, is that our Heavenly Father is waiting and watching with anticipation the day that we return to Him.
His desire is to reinstate us as His Children with His ring, clothe us with a robe of righteousness, so that our sinfulness is no longer exposed, then he wants to put shoes on our feet, giving us purpose and direction in our lives.
He wants to embrace his children again and wipe the shame and guilt from their lives forever.