Bible and Theology
Sons Not Servants
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
Mar 30, 2021

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Read Luke 15:11-32.

Sin is deceptive. Initially, the charm of sin is all we can see. When the prodigal son was drawn by the allure of the far country, he could only see the upside of leaving his father for a more exotic land. The prodigal's self-centered thinking led him to believe that his father owed him his inheritance.

God is not in the business of making us slaves; He is in the adoption business.

The prodigal son stayed prideful long after his money disappeared. Only when a famine destroyed his chances of even a menial job did he admit he had been wrong and that his father's house was a pretty wonderful place after all. The son said to himself, "I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants" (Luke 15:18-19). All the way home the young man probably rehearsed his confession and his story of degradation.

As soon as the dirty, unkempt prodigal is seen approaching, the father runs to him (see v. 20). When the son confesses, the father cuts him off. He does not need the details of the terrible times in the far country. Instead, he calls for a robe and a ring and fully reinstates the young man as his son and not as a servant.

God is not in the business of making us slaves; He is in the adoption business. He makes us his sons and daughters and freely gives us all good things. When we ask for His forgiveness, He wipes away our sin and forgets it ever happened. What a loving Father!

Easter is about wiping away the guilt and shame we all carry. In one magnificent act on the cross, Jesus showed the inexhaustible grace of the Father to cleanse us of sin. He simply asks that we realize our sinful condition and repent. He will cleanse us, clothe us in the robe of His righteousness, and accept us into his household with open arms without condemnation.

Prayer: Father, thank You for adopting me as Your child. Thank You for Your grace and forgiveness. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"[H]e predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will" (Ephesians 1:5).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Need Good News?, Part 5: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW