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Lost (Prodigal) Son - Luke 15:24-28

Lesson # Lost (Prodigal) Son - Luke 15:24-28
Study Material - Lost (Prodigal) Son - Luke 15:24-28

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Lost (Prodigal) Son
Luke 15:24-28

24 For [hoti] this [houtos] my [mou] son [huios] was [en] dead [nekros] , and [kai] is alive again [anazao] ; [kai] he was [en] lost [apollumi] , and [kai] is found [heurisko] . And [kai] they began [archomai] to be merry [euphraino] .
25 Now [de] his [autos] elder [presbuteros] son [huios] was [en] in [en] the field [agros] : and [kai] as [hos] he came [erchomai] and drew nigh [eggizo] to the house [oikia] , he heard [akouo] musick [sumphonia] and [kai] dancing [choros] .
26 And [kai] he called [proskaleomai] one [heis] of the servants [pais] , and asked [punthanomai] what [tis] these things [tauta] meant [eien] .
27 And [de] he said [epo] unto him [autos] , [hoti] Thy [sou] brother [adelphos] is come [heko] ; and [kai] thy [sou] father [pater] hath killed [thuo] the fatted [siteutos] calf [moschos] , because [hoti] he hath received [apolambano] him [autos] safe and sound [hugiaino] .
28 And [de] he was angry [orgizo] , and [kai] would [thelo] not [ou] go in [eiserchomai] : therefore [oun] came [exerchomai] his [autos] father [pater] out [exerchomai] , and intreated [parakaleo] him [autos] . KJV-Interlinear

24 for this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.' And they began to be merry. 25 'Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 'And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things might be. 27 'And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.' 28 'But he became angry, and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began entreating Him. NASB

The younger son was dead (spiritually). He was alive physically, but had no relationship with the Father. The son was functioning in life in a state of separation.

He was lost, or in a state of potentially total destruction if his lost status was not changed. But he is found or his status of being lost was now canceled. The younger sons status has been transformed from a potential state of being eternally separated forever, to a state of now being with the Father in the Fathers home forever.

This is cause for great celebration - the return of the child. The party begins when the child is officially recognized as being born back into the house of the Father. Who is celebrating? All of heaven - the angels in the case of the reality of anyone's being born again (spiritually speaking) in this world.

Just as with the two preceding parables, God spares no effort nor expense in recovering the lost sheep. Their personality, their life style is never an issue. Their decision is of course the point of change which is important. That is always the issue in salvation. The younger son was not saved because he was broke and down on his luck. He was not saved because he confessed his error. He was saved as we all are saved, he turned his attention back to God and observed the rules of the house and we call that believing in the Savior, which the Father provides for us all.

But this parable is not really a salvation parable, but an attitude parable. The son was a wild child. The elder son was a self righteous child. Personality makes no difference in salvation. One cannot earn salvation. One cannot deserve it. The Father treats everyone the same regardless of their errors in life, and that is really the point of this parable. The real issue is who and what God is, not who and what we as humanity might see ourselves as.

Remember that this parable and the two before it were initiated because of the prejudice of the Pharisees and their dislike of the 'sinners' or those who they considered lessor than themselves. And now we get to the Pharisee part of this parable - the older son. They were bitterly incensed with Jesus being the friend of publicans and sinners.

He is in the field and hears the party. The story concerning the younger child is now complete. 'What is going on?' 'The younger son is back and now there is a party to celebrate him.' 'But the younger son was a jerk. He doesn't deserve a party. I deserve a party. No one ever gave me a party.'

'I, (the older son) deserve a party. I have worked hard, been loyal, done all the right things in life. Have obeyed the law, upheld all the regulatory observances. I have earned the right.'

And such is the position of the Pharisees. They ignore the Father and His will. Remember that the elder son received his portion at the same time the younger son received his. Their portion is life in the world - not in heaven. So they both took their portion and lived life in accordance with their own self defined morals. The elder simply thinks that his morals are better than those of the younger. The Pharisee thinks that his life style is better than that of the 'sinners' of the world. They of course are not including themselves with the sinners.

The elder son, a hard and selfish man, stern, and yet very careful of his duties as far as his narrow mind and view of life grasped them, was in the field at his work (tithings and ritual observances, making excuse after excuse dancing around the old sacred Hebrew Law, uselessly fretting their lives away in a dull round of meaningless ritual observances). No one else was making the sacrifices of life as the elder son represented - working hard and earning his way through life.

They, the Pharisees, as they became aware of the great crowds of people, whom they looked on as lost sinners or lessor human beings, listening to the new famous Teacher, who was showing them how men who had lived their lives too could win eternal life, then they, the Pharisees, flamed out with bitterness and anger and wrath against Jesus' words of glad tidings to such a worthless crew. In this parable these indignant Pharisees, scribes, and rulers could see themselves clearly portrayed.

The disapprobation of Jesus for Pharisee opinions was very marked, yet here and elsewhere His treatment of them was generally gentle and loving, as is the nature of the Father. By looking at the person of Jesus Christ we can see directly the Father.

They themselves saw in their excessive 'outward' devotion to the letter of the divine law, to the temple, to the proud traditions of their race, that their lifestyle was admirable. Unfortunately it was not a love to God, but a love all marred and blurred by their own egos and self fulfilling destiny. They saw it as patriotism, but a patriotism utterly mistaken by their own agendas. The elder brother here was a representation of the great and famous sect, both in its fair and repulsive aspect, in its moral severity and correctness, and in its harshness and exclusive pride.

Yet despite this approach to life, the Father condescended to entreat the angry elder son who refused even to come into the party. His own arrogance and self righteousness kept him on the outside. Jesus in giving this parable longed to win over these proud mistaken Pharisees. Each person has to come to the right decision themselves.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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