Insiders & Outsiders - Luke 15:25-32
Now, at last, we come to the whole point of Luke 15.
It’s important to remember the framework of Luke 15. How did it begin?
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’” Luke 15:1-2 NIV
We have the tax collectors and sinners on the one side, hanging out with Jesus and wanting to know him and hear from him, and we have the religious insiders, the Pharisees and the scribes on the other side, criticizing Jesus and with their criticisms keeping people away.
Axiomatic: unless we work hard to prevent it, we in the church can become the religious insiders. We can become critical of anyone who shows Jesus to the sinful. We can become “Insiders”. We lose the mind and heart of God for a LOST world. Isn’t that what happened in Luke 15?
We can ______________of our Heavenly Father without __________of our Heavenly Father.
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. The older brother became angry and refused to go in.” Luke 15:25, 28 NIV
The older son was obedient. He was faithful. He was “in the field.” Means he was probably hot and sweaty and exhausted. Why? Because he was about his father’s business!
Notice that when the son drew near to the house, he had to ask one of the servants what was going on. In other words, the servants know more about the father than the son does. Let that not ever be true of us!
God’s grace is so great that it is _____________.
We read that the older son was not only ignorant but also angry. v. 28.
“But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!” Lu 15:30 NIV
We may be quick to criticize, but we should be careful. For grace is offensive. It gives what is not deserved to the undeserving. Grace forgives the unforgivable. Grace makes peace with our enemies. Beyond forgiveness, grace restores. It’s unfair. It is outrageous to our sense of justice. It’s vulgar to our sense of legitimacy. It shipwrecks our sense of morality.
We have 2 wrong expectations of God’s love…
We think God loves us ____________________.
“Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders…” Luke 15:29a NIV
The odd thing about this is that no one coming to God, repentant, sorrowful, convicted, wrong believes this. We all marvel in God’s grace at first. But then something odd happens to us as we walk in Christ. It’s instinctive. I feel I must do something in order to be accepted. The truth is: There is nothing we can do to make God love us more. There is nothing we can do to make God love us less.
We think God shows his love to us ________________.
“… yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.” Luke 15:29b NIV
At first we are overwhelmed with His mercy (not giving us what we do deserve) and His grace (giving us what we don’t deserve.) But as time goes on, we wonder why God sometimes seems so far off? Even if we get past the point where we expect physical gifts from God, or always to know He is there, we’re surprised by trials that come our way for the very reason we are Christ-followers!
When thinking about God’s grace to others we can misplace the A, B, C’s of our faith:
A. Misplaced ________________.
… because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 15:31-32 NIV
B. Misplaced ___________________.
“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”
C. Misplaced ____________________.
But we had to celebrate and be glad, …
Core Value: Lost people matter to God and therefore _______________.