And he said, A certain man had two sons:…
Six touching scenes.
I. A SINFUL LIFE.
1. A young man chafing under the restraints of home. This chafing arose —
(1) From a false view of true liberty.
(2) From a false view of true happiness.
(3) From a false view of self-guidance.
2. A young man demanding his portion of the inheritance. This demand arose —
(1) From a desire to be independent of his father.
(2) From a desire to lay out his life and means according to his own plan.
3. The young man receiving "the portion which befell him."
(1) The father recognized his son's free agency.
(2) The father saw that his son's heart was already estranged from him.
(3) The father felt that the bitter experiences of life alone, if anything, would undeceive his self-deluded and wilful son.
II. THE DEPARTURE FROM HOME.
1. The departure was not long delayed.
2. The young man took all he could claim.
III. HIS MODE OF LIFE WHEN ONCE RELEASED FROM THE RESTRAINTS OF HOME.
1. His life riotous.
2. His substance wasted.
IV. THE RESULT OF HIS SELF-ELECTED LIFE.
3. Degrading service.
V. THE REACTION.
1. Situation realized.
2. Reflection commenced.
3. Decision resolved on.
4. A plea constructed.
5. Decision executed.
VI. THE FATHER'S LOVE.
1. Love's long range of vision.
2. Love's tenderness.
3. Love's generosity.
4. Love's joy.Lessons:
1. The infinite contrast — man's selfishness and God's love.
2. The infinite folly — man breaking away from God.
3. The infinite grace — God embracing, forgiving, and honouring the returning prodigal.
(D. G. Hughes, M. A.)
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