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Monday, January 2, 2012

Families, Prodigals and Turkeys [11]

Welcome back! We will continue with our discussion of the Prodigal son. Let's recap, so we can move forward... 
Text: Luke 15:11-32 
This story or parable is part of a triad. It follows the parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin. This particular story is sometime called the parable of the Lost Son. Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees trying to explain and expound upon the love that God has for us, and the grace he provides.  
There is a father, whom we have named him Dave, Sr., who has two sons. Their names have become Dave, Jr. (or Davey) and Philip, for the sake of clarity. David, Jr. is the older, and Philip is the younger son.   
Philip asks his father to give him his portion of the family estate as an early inheritance. Once he gets is, he sets off to see the world. There he wastes his fortune on wild living, whatever that mean in ancient times. About the same time that his funds run out, a severe famine hits the country and he finds himself in a dreadful state of affairs. He is no slouch, so he gets a job feeding pigs. Things eventually get so bad he even yearns for the food he should be feeding the pigs. 
Philip finally has his V-8 moment, and comes to his right mind. He remembers his father and home. In fact, he specifically remembers that his father’s hirelings ate much better food than he had at the moment. In humility, he finally understands his foolishness, decides to return to his father and ask for forgiveness and mercy. He has determined that he will ask his father to hire him as a worker.  
The father, David, Sr., has been watching and waiting, longing for his son’s return. He receives his son back into his life and heart with open arms of compassion. He is delighted by the return of his lost son! Immediately he tells the servants to prepare an extravagant feast.  
In the meantime, Davey Jr. comes in from working in the fields, discovers a party is being set up to celebrate Philip’s return. He is more than a little upset. He flies into a rage and refuses to enter the house. The father tries to douse the fire of this rage by explaining to David, Jr., "You are always with me, and everything I have is yours." The father is saying, “Come on in.” What was holding him back?


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