Feb. 25 - The Story of the Prodigal Son
Most of us have heard the Parable of the Lost Son, or the Prodigal Son, more times than we can count, but on Sunday, Greg provided a new perspective –the story as it was viewed by the people in Jesus’s time.
Luke 15:11-12 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
In those days, a father never would have given his inheritance to his son before he died; however, this son asked and his father obliged. Those listening to Jesus tell this story understood the deep embarrassment and shame this certainly would have brought to the father. When the son left his family to squander the money, the listeners would have been disgusted at the son’s actions and felt satisfied to see him eating with the pigs after what he had done.
Later when the son hits rock bottom and comes crawling home to beg for a position as one of his father’s servants, the people in Jesus’s time (and most of us today) are ready for the father to shun his ungrateful, disrespectful son and give him what he “deserved,” but the opposite happened:
Luke 15:20 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.
Greg explained that a man in those days, particularly a well-respected, land-owning man of the house, would never had run in any situation, particularly this one. An ostentatious, affectionate display like this just wouldn’t have taken place. But the father greeted him lovingly and welcomed his son back with a feast and a celebration. He didn’t shame his son or allow anyone else to disgrace him. He explains to his other son:
Luke 15:31 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Jesus wanted to show his audience that our Father in Heaven is so very different from any ordinary fathers we know here on earth. If someone spends their life denying the Lord and rejecting Christ, God will wait patiently for them to come to Him. And when they do, He will run towards them with abandon, ready to celebrate their return. What an amazing Father we have!