Sunday Morning Podcast November 12, 2017. Bro. Dave Goble.
TEXT: LUKE 15:1-3
1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
It takes a lot of feeling of vulnerability and humbleness to realize God is your answer. Jesus is speaking prophetically here to the Jews. The Pharisees and scribes of the Jews murmured among themselves regarding Jesus’s close attention to sinners, instead of the “faithful.” Luke 15:11-32, Jesus relays here the parable of the prodigal son, (which is the younger of the two), and the elder who had been faithful. It was easy for the elder to feel slighted, because he was not the one being celebrated, even though he had been the faithful one. (The Pharisees and scribes also had been “faithful” in the written and oral law). Which is why Jesus spoke both to the sinner and religious alike in this parable. This is another aspect of a story that usually focuses on the prodigal’s sins, and redemption from his father upon his return.
Here we consider closely the elder son, and his feelings of anger for not seeming to be “embraced” as the prodigal; for the elder son felt like his sinner brother was being rewarded more with their father’s attention of celebration, than himself. Just as similarly, the religious (scribes) didn’t like Jesus’s teachings, and His attention more to sinners instead of them. Sometimes with any of us, the “rewards” don’t seem fairly dealt. But forgiveness has nothing to do with fairness. With the elder, just because he didn’t have a celebratory party, didn’t mean the father loved him any less. Similarly God doesn’t love us less, just because His focus looks like it’s on the “less” conscientious one.
The theme here is that God wants us to see our need to forgive others, like the father was wanting the elder son to forgive the younger. The elder son here is likened to the religious. Both sons had a spiritual need. Both sons were loved by their father. Both had feelings of attachments to their father. The elder was not less loved, …because he had had the enjoyment of his father’s riches all along. The father is “typed” here as a God who never abandoned either son, just as God doesn’t abandon anyone. The key for the elder to realize this, was to forgive his brother. The key also for the religious to forgive the sinner, is to show mercy.
Attachment With Feeling, to God…