Week 7 The Story of Your Father
If your Bible has section headings, then Luke 15:11-32 is titled “The Prodigal Son.” Why? You’ve probably heard this story a thousand times? But I ask you, who exactly is the main character?
The parable starts, “There was a man who had two sons…” A man with 2, that is two, sons.
When I read all of chapter 15 in context, I see responses to the accusation that Jesus dined with sinners: If you lose a sheep or a silver coin, don’t you go after it and get excited when you find it? That’s what the Father is doing and then rejoices when His treasure is found. How much more are we treasured?
So there is a dad, and one son basically says, “I no longer wish to dine at your table, since you won’t die fast enough, just go ahead and give me my inheritance now.” I find it fascinating that the Father complied with the request, without judgment or offense.
Meanwhile the other son continues ‘slaving’ for His Father. Although, considering how the Father treated the first son, I doubt He required this slaving attitude from His children.
Time passes and the first son comes back to himself, remembers where he came from and figures he’s better of slaving for His Father and comes home very repentant, but expecting punishment. Oh but what a magnificent Father he has! A Father who recognizes his son’s gait and, full of compassion, runs to kiss him. No ‘I told you so…what a waste…you owe me,’ just a kiss and a feast.
Just as the feast starts and his son takes his place at His Father’s table once more, the other son comes in from his works. And He is pissed. So angry that he refuses to come to His Father’s table. He has slaved all these years and never received this kind of celebration. Oh but what a magnificent Father he has! A Father who recognizes that his son has forgotten who he is and gently reminds him, actually pleads with him.
“Son, you have always had access to your inheritance, you are MY son, not a servant, whether you work for me or not, all I have has always been yours. Always. You just never asked for it. Please come out of the field and feast with me now.”
So, on that day both his prodigals were lost and then found. Both. One had walked away from his Father, the other walked away from His grace. But this story is about our magnificent Father who seeks His lost children and invites them back to the table.
Highlights to the story:
…Jesus CONTINUED: “There was a man who had two sons…
…So the younger son got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with COMPASSION for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him…
…But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate…
…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. So his father WENT OUT and PLEADED with him…My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours…
Luke 15:11, 20, 22-25, 28, 31 NIV