(21) And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.(22) But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: (23) And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry (24) For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.Luke 15:21-24
Now his son goes into the sincere, preplanned speech that he wanted to tell his dad. He says what would have been true. He did sin against heaven and against his dad. But he cannot even finish the speech. The rest of the speech is, “can I be hired on as an employee?”.
Yet that Father doesn’t even let him get there. Notice the next word, “but”. It’s an interrupting word here. His father has already forgiven him. It is time for my son to be treated like my son yet again.
It is time to throw a party. The forgiveness is elaborate. Robe, Ring, Shoes, Party- Bar-b-q!
The prodigal thought he wanted to get out and party in the world. I’m sure this is the best party he would ever attend.
Why the elaborate forgiveness?
(24) For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
The reason for making merry was not a celebration of the sin of the son. It was not a celebration of the dishonor that he did to his dad. It was a celebration of restoration. It was a celebration of forgiveness. There were many sleepless nights not knowing if his son was dead or not. There were so many moments where the dad wished he could go get his son, but he had no idea where he was. There was a resolution here. His son, who was dead, is alive again. His son, who was lost, is found.
The party was not about sin. The party was about salvation. It was about redemption.
We celebrate all kinds of things in our culture. We celebrate talent. As a sports fan I appreciate watching what people can do physically when they set their mind to a certain discipline and skill set.
We celebrate success. This can be good and bad.
Unfortunately our culture has begun to ask us to not just accept sin, but to celebrate it. Too often we are seen as intolerant if we do not accept, and worse, celebrate the sinful lifestyles of others. This is often the judgement of God where people are given over to a reprobate mind, which sees the good as bad and the bad as good. We ought not to celebrate sin, no matter the cost.
If there is anything that ought to be celebrated it should be repentance. It ought to be salvation. It ought to be forgiveness. We ought to strive to see people lovingly yet firmly confronted with the consequences of their sin, no matter what it is. We must help them to know that there is a loving Father who has made it forgiveness possible.
When the prodigal comes home, we ought to party!
- What do you celebrate most in your life?