11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “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. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
What is Needed to Mend a Relationship
Realization (vs. 17)
When the son came to himself. Son realized that he had wasted what his father had worked for all his life.
Realized his sin was against earthly and heavenly relationships.
“The more you chip away at the relationships the less you have to stand on.” – Pastor Billy Johnson
Return (vs. 18)
An act of your will (“I will…”)
Must have courage to go back. Don’t let your pride and insecurities get in the way.
“The relationship is worth the return.” – Pastor Billy Johnson
Someone has got to be the bigger person if the goal is to mend the relationship.
Repentance (vs. 18)
“When you return what will you say?” – Dr. D’Ann Johnson
Repent means at some point you have a change of mind (heart) and you are changing your course of action (going back).
“Sometimes we have a hard time practicing repentance in big issues because we didn’t practice it in small things.” – Dr. D’Ann Johnson
Reception (vss 20-21)
The first 3 issues had to do with the son. Now the picture shifts to the father.
Before the son got back the father was looking for him.
“A receptive heart is always seeking resolution.” – Dr. D’Ann Johnson
“If you haven’t gotten over the offense you won’t be ready to receive.” – Pastor Billy Johnson
The father was very excited about seeing his son. He operated in mature discernment. The son never got an opportunity to say to his father what he had planned on saying.
Restoration (vs. 22)
Bring about immediate and complete acceptance extended to the offender. This is the picture of how God treats us!
We must honor the dignity of a human being.
We may encounter people who will resist mending relationships; however we still must model the father. (vs. 28-32)
Leave the results to God!