The Prodigal Son, Part 2 – (Luke 15)

The younger son traveled back home to ask his father to take him in and let him work as one of his servants. But his father saw him coming from a long way off, and he ran to meet him. Though his father embraces him, he has come with a contrite heart and acknowledges his guilt. But his father had his servants to clothe him in the best manner he could, and he arranged for a feast to celebrate the return of the son, who for all practical purposes had been dead. But now the lost one had been found.

It is just so with God. There is no sin that we can do that, with a repentant heart, God will not eagerly forgive us. As His children, He joyfully accepts us back, no matter what. And Jesus has told us twice in this chapter how much joy there is in heaven when one sinner repents.

Return of the prodigal son

Return of the prodigal son

But the older son hears the celebration, and does not come to His father, but instead speaks to a servant to find out what is going on. What does that say about his relationship with his father, especially when he, in his anger, refused to go in? Though his father comes out and “entreats him,” he still will not relent, and he makes his displeasure, disdain, and even jealousy known to his father. He degenerates his younger brother for his sins, and cannot understand why the father is treating him so well. His father wants the elder son to join them, but he also wants him to understand that it is most appropriate to be joyous and to celebrate the return of one who was lost to him.

When the chapter started, back in verse 2, the Pharisees and scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them” because Jesus was consorting with known sinners. Jesus had explained in two previous parables how much joy God has for the lost returning to him. But now He is describing the elder brother with the same attitude that the Pharisees had. They felt that they were entitled to a higher degree of regard because they had given years of service to keeping God’s law, as passed down through Moses (albeit, with much of their own agenda thrown into the mix).

God had entreated them to come in by sending his Son, but they had thus far rejected the idea in their anger and disdain for the sinners Jesus receives. The same would be true, even of other Jews, when Gentiles were openly received. The parable ended with the elder son still not coming in. Would he finally come in? The question for those Pharisees, if they heard and understood, was whether they would put away their foolish anger and pride, and come into God’s kingdom as well.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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The Prodigal Son, Part 1 – (Luke 15)

Just about everyone has heard of the “parable of the prodigal son.” And many of us have heard several different sermons preached about that parable. There seems to be something different to take away from it from many perspectives. Today, we will look at the story from the viewpoint of what happened to the younger son.

The prodigal son departs

The prodigal son departs

 

It begins with the younger of two sons asking for his father to give him his share of the inheritance that he was to receive. So the father, though he had no requirement to do so, divided their property then and gave him his share. The older son, according to custom, would receive a double portion.

The younger one took his belongings, and traveled to a far off country; and he wasted his inheritance in what the scripture terms “reckless living.” After a famine occurred in the country, he had to go to work feeding pigs; and his situation became so desperate that even the pods that he was feeding the pigs began to look good to him. These pods were from the carob tree. It is only the husks that were actually edible. The seeds inside are too hard to be edible. The husks can be ground into a type of flour that has a quality like chocolate, and in fact, carob is used by many today as a substitute for chocolate. But they were usually only eaten by the poor when times were most desperate – or for feeding pigs, of course.

carob_pods_270314This younger son at this point realized how much better off he would be back at his father’s home – even by offering himself as a servant, rather than a family member. He resolved to go back and beg his father to allow him to come back under just those conditions; and he even rehearsed how he would ask for this. He realized that his circumstances were entirely his fault, and that his father had no obligation even to give him a place to stay (much less feed him) as a servant.

The younger son realized something that may not occur to us when we stray. As sinners, if we have no repentance in our hearts and our lives, God has no obligation to even hear our prayers. He may choose to do so. But he has made no promise in that respect. What a dreadful situation to be separated from God, and unable to present our petitions to Him because of the condition of our hearts. But it is evident that the results of his sin have caused a change in his heart.

Next, we’ll look a little closer at what happened when he goes to his father with this change of heart, and what that means to the elder brother.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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