prodigal

The prodigal child, a deep dive into some parables from Jesus Christ (part five)


The eldest son
There is many facets to the eldest son that can be addressed here as he is a reflection of those that have been loyal to God all the time. The religious leaders that were here listening to Jesus tell this parable is one facet. Those within churches that see people come into their churches that look and act different then they do. These are just two facets.
The religious leaders saw Jesus Christ as a threat to their command of the Israeli people. Thus their anger and hatred toward Him. The fact that Christ was causing people to come to God as they never did with those in religious power. That sinners would go to Him and then leave from Him no longer sinning thus becoming the younger son. Being dead and now alive once again. The religious leaders in their own minds saw themselves as being loyal to God, even though there was mounting evidence that this was the furthest thing from the truth.
In many churches today people form a group and see those that come into their churches as invaders. So they make it hard for these intruders to fit in or grow in their belief in Jesus Christ and His Father.
These are all aspects of the eldest son.
What the father says is clear and to the point.
Luke 15:31 – “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
Simply there is no need to be jealous or envious. For you are a part of the body of Christ, and when someone comes to realize that truth. That God is the Creator of ALL. That they have come home through accepting Jesus as their Savior is a time of joy and celebration. For they were dead and now they are alive and will for all eternity.
This is something that is open to all that are willing to see the truth. Be they now Atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, or even think they are Christian. All they need do is not live their lives in the here and the now, but to look to the eternal life that is yet to come. To stop living in the temporal and plan to exist for billions upon billions of years in the embrace of God, through His Son Jesus Christ our Savior.

The prodigal child, a deep dive into some parables from Jesus Christ (part four)


The epiphany.
As he feeds the pigs desiring to eat the food of what the Jewish people see as an unclear animal. Realization hits him.
Luke 15:17 – And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
Now we have to note how things are different between his life now and those that are servants to his father. As was pointed out in the previous part of this series he had made himself a bondservant. In essence a slave for six years. He master was not feeding him. His father on the other hand had free people working for him. In fact his father paid them. This is shown in the word “hired” and by the fact that they have enough money to be able to give bread to those in need. As shown by the wording: “have bread enough and to spare.”
Hired servant – misthios – a paid worker, hired servant, hireling (contrasted with a slave).
The implication in the next view verses implies that he came to realize that if he stayed a bondservant he would die of starvation. So he leaves his situation.
Now here we must come to another realization within the younger son. At the beginning of this parable he is prideful and arrogant. For he went to his father and demanded his inheritance. Now in the pity of despair and starvation a new man arises. A man that is humbled. He says this:
“Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”
Not only does he see his actions as wrong, but an actual sin. He also realizes that his actions were so shameful that he can no longer consider himself as a child of his father. His humility only begs of him to seek after being a servant of this man who is his father.
So he heads home. As he comes into sight of home. His father sees him coming towards him. Even though he is a ways off his father knows it is him. He recognizes him. At see him. The bible says this:
Luke 15:20 – And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Compassion – splagchnizomai – I feel compassion, have pity on, am moved.
Pity – sympathy and understanding for someone else’s suffering or troubles
The father understood what had transpired. He did not hate him, nor despise him. In fact he ran to him and fell upon him hugging him tightly and kissed him. This is how God sees all that come humbly toward Him seeking His forgiveness. God loves all of humanity. All that is required by us that are his children, is to acknowledge Him. To say we have sinned, and then to go to Him. He will then run to us as well. Embracing us, holding us to Him. For we acknowledge that His is not only our God, our Creator, but our Father as well.
The sins are already forgiven, just because we turn to God and go to Him. This is seen in the very next two verses. The son begins to make His speech he had planned, but before he can even ask to be only accepted as one of his father’s servants. He father shouts out to his servants, to place the best robes upon him, and a ring upon his finger, and shoes upon his feet. Then the father also says to kill the fatted calf and to eat and celebrate.
Luke 15:24 – For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
This same joy is promised to all of humanity that comes to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, for only through Him can God see them approaching His throne, and all of heaven will celebrate as they come to accept that God is their eternal Father.

The prodigal child, a deep dive into some parables from Jesus Christ (part three)


We left the previous part of the series with the youngest son’s demand for his reward. Now we will look to the reward itself.
So, the child is given their inheritance. Again we need understand something. What he asks for is what is promised in the future, once his father passes from the world. So the prodigal child is asking for in essence their rewards promised them in the eternal life that is yet to be, if we look at the father as God. This is what he asks for and this is what he is given. The same can be said of all that ask God of something. This something, be it wealth, a fancy home, a fancy car. All this is something that was meant for a life they have yet to see. The eternal life. These things you seek after here are not for eternity, but for here, for now, in the contemporary. Yet this is what most demand. This is what the son was asking for.
So the youngest son packs up everything he owns and moves to a distant land. The intent is made clear he turns his back upon his father. Never to see him ever again. Most that deny God live this very way. Many that say they accept Christ as their Savior live this was as well. It is something to be expected as is made clear in 2 Peter chapter 2:
20 – And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 22 They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”
Most do not wish to live a Christian live-style. They find it confining, restricted. They see the Bible as simply a reference tool. A book of suggestions, instead of what it truly is. It is a book of laws that we are required to follow.
John 14:15 “If you love me, obey my commandments….”
This is why most run away from God. This is why they pack all their belongings so they can do as the youngest son did. To live a “riotous living,” away from the site of God their Father and Creator.
Riotous – asotos – extravagantly wasteful because of “loose living,” i.e. a debauched, profligate lifestyle
Profligate – utterly and shamelessly immoral or dissipated; thoroughly dissolute.
As he lived this live-style he wasted all he owned. Then when a famine hit the land he found himself without the ability to even feed himself. So he bonded himself to someone in the land he now lived.
What he made of himself voluntarily was a bondservant. A bondservant is something that was established within the Israelite tribes as a way to settle debts. Simply the person become the property of someone else for a period of time. A slave. In most cases for six years. So being a slave, his master did not even feed him, and he hungered even after the scraps that he was feeding unto the pigs he was ordered to feed.
Here is something else that needs to be understood. The pig is seen as an animal that is detestable, filthy and unclean to the Israelites. To be forced to feed one let alone desire to eat what a pig eats means that the youngest hit rock-bottom.
We will continue this in the next part of the series.

The prodigal child, a deep dive into some parables from Jesus Christ (part two)


Yesterday we began to look into the parables Jesus gave one day, nearly two thousand years ago. We discussed the first two parables in part one of this series. Now we will continue our deep dive as we go onto the parable of the prodigal son:
Luke 15:11 – To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. 13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. 17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ 20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ 22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. 25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26 and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’ 28 “The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29 but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30 Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’ 31 “His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32 We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”
Let’s look at this parable in more detail. Our first stop in this deep dive. The demands of the younger son, which is where we will starts. For the son went to the father and did not ask, but told his father. In the KJV it is “said,” but still it was not “asked his father.”
There is a couple of ways to approach just this one sentence. Form the main standpoint of this particular teaching we should look at it this way. All of humanity are the children of God. The mere denial of accepting God not only as “God,” but as their creator and Father is a type of demand. That they are their own person. That they are in control and have full say-so in how they wish to live their lives. You see this in most that deny the very existence of God. However, in the other way you can look at it. It is the way those that have asked Christ to be their Savior behave as well. Many still choosing to be the ones in control of their own lives and see the Bible more as a book of suggestions instead of actual laws that demand requirements to be maintained and followed. These two aspects tie right back into the previous two parables that Jesus had just spoken.
Here is another facet that must be noted. The demand for his rewards now. Again we come to those that are like the lost coin and the lost sheep. In both examples those that turn away from God and His Son seek after their rewards here in this temporal realm we all now exists within.
Matthew 6:19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
How does the father, God, respond to His child’s demands? Without question or debate, the father gave to the child what he demanded. This too is how God responses to all His children, which is all of humanity, be they Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or whatever religion they follow. God loves all His children, but He knows that if their heart is hardened unto the truth there is no way to reach them and cause them to accept Him as who He really is.
This is one reason He has made a type of loophole in the Great White Throne Judgment, for those that have led a righteous life. But this loophole is not a guarantee of eternal life. There is only one way, and that is through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. God wishes all to come into the eternal life we are all promised. However, he knows that due to free-will most will reject the truth, for all of humanity due to the actions of Adam and Eve, is sinful and the source of their own corruption.
Mark 7:20 – And then he added, “It is what comes from inside that defiles you. 21 For from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. 23 All these vile things come from within; they are what defile you.”
This also goes directly into why Jesus was telling this parable. For it was the desires of the child that drove him to want his inheritance. We will continue this in the next part of this series.

The prodigal child, a deep dive into some parables from Jesus Christ (part one)


Very quickly Luke sets the stage for the parables Jesus is about to say to those gathered about Him this day. Amongst them are His earthly rivals, the holy men of the Israelites. They scoff that once again Christ has brought sinners before Him.
Jesus goes right to this point immediately:
Luke 15:4 – “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away! 8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and sweep the entire house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she will call in her friends and neighbors and say, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.”‬‬
In these two parables He says the same thing, for the most part, but in a way that not only both male and females can relate too, but those that live in the country and those that live in the cities. Instantly destroying the religious leaders’ argument and show to those that understand how foolish those that hold onto man-made dogmas really are.
But let’s now look into the parables. Both deal with the property of a person that losses one part of it. It shows how they search and look for it. Jesus then says what the heavenly equivalent is. This statement of joy for just one person that repents is key of these parables.
We need to understand two key words. Sinner and repent.
Sinner – hamartolos – sinning, sinful, depraved, detestable
Repents – repenteth – metanoeo – from metá, “changed after being with” and noiéō, “think”) – properly, “think differently after,” “after a change of mind”; to repent
So any that sin, that after coming to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior begins to think differently and uses the teachings within the Bible to know what is the difference between right acting and wrong acting. Then once realizing these differences end those things within their lives that are called sin, no matter how painful that turning away from these actions could be.
The slight differences between the first and the second though is for former is aimed at someone who had already asked Jesus Christ to their Savior. While the latter was aimed at any who come to decide to follow Jesus and ask Him to be their Savior. In both cases acknowledging that there is sin in their lives and then turning away from the sin is what is required by both. So even though Jesus is addressing two different type of sinners. The first, someone who was once a part of the vine, the other someone newly grafted into vine, which is Jesus Christ.
These two parables are fixed directly at the ridicule made by those religious leaders present at this particular teaching being made by Christ on that day nearly two thousand years ago. In the next part of this series we will take a deeper look into the parable of the prodigal son.