"I Am No Longer Worthy"

In Luke 15:11-32 Jesus give a parable about a father with two sons.  The youngest son wants the father to give him his inheritance.  The father gives him his inheritance and the younger son goes off to a far country and wastes his possessions with prodigal living.  A famine arises in the land and things become difficult for this younger son.  He finds himself feeding swine for a citizen of that country and longing to eat what the swine were eating.  At this low point, the younger son, “came to himself” (Luke 15:17, NKJV).  He wakes up to his condition and recognizes his need to change.  He decides he will return to his father and say to his father, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.  Make me like one of your hired servants” (Luke 15:18-19, NKJV).  The statements this son plans to make to his father describe the attitude we need to have when we have sinned and are returning to God.

The son acknowledges his sin was not only against the father but also against heaven.  Repentance is produced by godly sorrow (2 Corinthians 7:9-11).  Godly sorrow recognizes our sin is primarily against God.  David acknowledged this fact about his sin (Psalm 51:3-4).  Joseph recognized being with Potiphar’s wife would be sin first and foremost against God (Genesis 39:9).  Let’s remember to see our sins as most importantly things done against God.

The son acknowledged he is, “no longer worthy to be called your son” (Luke 15:19, NKJV).  His actions and the squandering of his inheritance resulted in him no longer being worthy to be called the father’s son.  Godly sorrow over our sin leads us to see ourselves as no longer worthy of being God’s children.  The father does restore the son to a position of sonshgip when he returns it appears (Luke 15:22).  One of the dangers we face is to start thinking we are worthy of being called God’s children even after we have sinned.  We are God’s children not because we are worthy for we are all unprofitable servants (Luke 17:10).  We are saved not because we are worthy of being God’s children but because of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).  When we realize how unworthy we are of all the forgiveness we have received, it engenders in us a greater love and devotion toward God (2 Peter 1:5-9; Luke 7:36-50).

The son was willing to return to his father and be made, “like one of your hired servants” (Luke 15:19, NKJV).  One of the ways we need to see our relationship to God is that of being a servant (Romans 1:1; Philippians 1:1; Titus 1:1; James 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; Jude 1).  Servants are willing to do whatever the master commands them to do.  We need to remember it is better to be God’s servant than to dwell in sin.  Psalm 84:10 says, “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.  I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (NKJV).

Let’s be people who see the seriousness of our sins as this son realized the seriousness of his actions toward his father!  Let’s also be people who rejoice when people come to their senses, repent of their sins, and come to God humbly!  Remember the older son did not rejoice but instead became angry at the return of his younger brother.