Thursday, August 19, 2010

Parables and Proverbs - Looking at the Prodigal Son

The parable of the Prodigal Son likely one of the most known and popular parables.
In the past, a lot of focus was on the prodigal and his straying and returning home: We are all lost and gone a stray.
In more recent times the focus has turn to the remaining 'obedient' son and how we can be obedient and doing "the right things" yet not enjoying fully the privilege as children. Some have shared that the "obedient" son was a prodigal as well and just as bad because he did or said nothing when the inheritance was divided. He took his share too. He just didn't take off.
But there are three main characters in the parable:
The Runaway Son
The Resentful Brother
The Running Father
These days the focus is on the Running Father as the loving father to both the runaway returning (repenting?)and restored son and his resentful brother. The Father representing God in the parable is portrayed as longing waiting looking out for and running out to meet the son whom he restores and reinstates as opposed to a father who stands and waits for the young man to come crawling but and then give him the "I told you so" and "this is what you get for not listening to me" comebacks. God  ran out to meet us and embrace us when we return to Him. He didn't judge us. We had already judged ourselves. We were judged by our own conscience.

The  parable of the prodigal son was taught by Jesus as a last in a series of three parables in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 15, sometimes subtitled as the parables of the lost sheep, lost coin and son.
Someone mention when Jesus said: "I say to you" you sit up to to listen. When He says "verily I say to you" you better pay attention. But when He says  "verily verily I say to you" you better start taking notes.
Jesus told three similar parables in a row and it must be to underscore one truth. It's not about the numbers; 1 of 100, 1 of 10 or 1 of 2. It's about a God who actively seeks you out.
You were important enough to launch a search and rescue mission
You were precious enough to turn the world upside-down to find
You were always his child and His been waiting for you to return or to ask of Him.

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