The first son discussed in Luke 15:11-31 hits rock bottom. And believe me, a Jewish young man longing to eat the slop of pigs is indeed rock bottom.
But a shift takes place. He comes to his senses. He’s made aware of rock bottom. He’s made aware of his sin against heaven and his father. Thus, he decides to head home. Yet, he heads home not seeking to be a son but a hired servant in his father’s house.
The first son in his rehearsed plea for forgiveness states, “I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” He believes his sin has disqualified him from sonship. He believes his sin has moved him from a son to someone who is second-rate, second class. He believes his sin makes him less than. He believes he doesn’t deserve the spot of a son but a spot of a servant.
And he’s wrong.
I wonder how many of you believe your sin has made you second-rate or second class? I wonder how many of you believe your sin has stronghold over you that keeps you from your true identity?
The first son was wrong and his error was made known when he came into contact with the father. Some of you might have an improper view of your own sin. Perhaps your error will be made known by encountering this parable.
This first son comes home thinking his sin and disqualified him for sonship. Yet, the father puts the robe, ring, sandals on him. The father kills the fattened calf. The father’s son that was dead is alive again. The father’s son that was lost has been found. It’s time to celebrate. His son is home – not as a hired servant – but in his proper place as son.
Sin has severe consequences. Sin can devastate relationships with friends and family. Sin can devastate your plans for the future. Sin can devastate your self-image. Sin can lead you to physical and spiritual death.
But here’s what you need to know: Sin can be forgiven.
The father in this passage represents our Heavenly Father. In this passage we see God’s grace and the ability of grace to overcome all of our sin. God’s grace is big enough to cover the sin of the first son. God’s grace is also big enough to cover your sin.
Repent of sin and receive grace.