Today we are on chapter fifteen of Luke. The tax collectors and other sinners are gathering closer to Jesus so they can hear what he has to say. The Pharisees of course don't like this because for one, Ugh! How disgraceful to be friendly toward sinners and actually eat with them! Personally I wonder if part of the problem was they just plain didn't like the fact that others were listening to Jesus when they felt the attention should be on themselves, the Pharisees. After all they did know the law!
Jesus began to tell them parables about a shepherd who has a hundred sheep. When one goes missing he leaves the others and searches diligently for the one that is lost. And when the sheep is found he calls to his friends asking them to rejoice with him because the one that was lost is now with him and safe again!
Verse seven of the chapter says I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repenting.
I love that verse. He loves us all, and there is much joy when we realize we are a sinner and come to repentance.
Also is the parable of the woman who has ten silver coins and loses one of them. She will sweep and carefully search the house to find the one that is lost.
Jesus then told the parable of the prodigal son. Merriam-Webster defines prodigal this way:
Definition of PRODIGAL
: characterized by profuse or wasteful expenditure : lavish <a prodigal feast> <prodigal outlays for her clothes>
: recklessly spendthrift <the prodigal prince>
Ouch! Profuse or wasteful spending. Recklessly spendthrift. Not wise at all with money.
But the parable tells us this young man was impatient for his inheritance. He asked his father for his portion now. His father obliges him and a few days later, the young man is off to see the world. He's spending his money right and left, partying, having a grand old time while his older brother is still at the family home working for his father. But soon the money runs out, as it often does when we spend as if there is no tomorrow, and the land he is in begins to face a serious famine.
The young man decides to make himself a servant and he is sent out in the fields to feed and care for the hogs. Big change there! At his father's house he wanted for nothing and had servants to help him with things, and now he was a servant himself. A rather lowly one at that, since he was beginning to look at the pods for the hogs as something possibly good to eat.
The young man thinks about what he's done with his life. He wants to go home now, but he doesn't feel he deserves to be his father's son anymore. So he decides he will go home and ask to be a servant for his father.
Like most if not all parents, the father sees his son coming down the road and his heart is filled with joy. He rushes out to meet the son he hasn't seen since he was given his inheritance. The son is truly repentant of his actions, and asks to be made a servant. But his loving father embraces him, calls to his servants to bring the finest robes! Put a ring on his hand! Kill the fatted calf and prepare it! He wanted to feast to celebrate the return of his son.
Then there's the older brother. He's been the faithful one, the dutiful one. He hasn't gone off squandering money on wine, women and song. He's been working hard for his father and dad hasn't even given him so much as a goat so that he could feast with his friends! Yet my bratty little brother goes traipsing off pretty as you please and when he comes back he's treated so wonderfully!
His father explains to him, Son, you are always with me and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is now found (verses 31, 31)
How wonderful that when we come back to our heavenly Father, he will receive us with open arms, rejoicing that the one who was dead is now alive. God is so good. All the time.
Before I end this I have a prayer request. I have a doctor appointment tomorrow morning (I will try to have tomorrow's morning cup post ready tonight but no promises. It may become an afternoon or evening cup depending). I'm a little concerned over the whole doctor visit but I probably shouldn't be. Will you keep me in prayer for peace and that all goes well? Thank you. Until next time, have a wonderful day.