The three parables in Luke 15 show God in a new and exciting way. They are the lens of Jesus for us to view the Father.
28 In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.
- Each is lost and Someone goes to look for them.
- That Someone looked until He found each one.
- There is much rejoicing when each are returned.
- The sheep wandered off.
- The coin was lost (it did not jump off the table).
- The son chose to leave.
- The sheep and the coin were rescued; the son chose to go home.
What do these parables tell us about the Father?
Before we answer that question, there is a matter that needs to be addressed. In Eastern culture, relationship is valued above all rules and regulations. There are ALWAYS exceptions to the rules where family is concerned. As we study these parables, let’s remember that Family Trumps Law.
- The heavenly Father is the Searcher in the first two parables and the Father in the third parable.
- He considers each one valuable and worth saving.
- He searches until He finds the first two, and continues to watch the road for the return of the third.
- There is no chastisement of the lamb, the coin, or the son–in fact, just the opposite. The Father throws a party for each of them.
What can we learn about our relationship with God from these parables?
Luke wrote his Gospel around 60 A.D. (before writing the book of Acts , which was written before Paul’s execution in 67 A.D. and before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.). This is 27 years after Christ’s resurrection and ascension. Luke had plenty of time to gather stories, interview people (like Jesus’ mother, Mary), and get his facts right. We can trust the Gospel of Luke to be accurate.
This being said, we can gain quite a few insights into the mind of believers in his day. Consider:
- Everyone identified with one of the three prodigals (lost ones).
- The heavenly Father loves everyone–even those who choose to leave.
- He searches for some (those who lost their way are are waiting to be rescued). Others, He waits for them to “come to their senses.” In fact, I believe that it is God the Spirit who calls to mind their bad choices and the subsequent consequences. He is the One who urges them to turn for home.
- Much rejoicing is in store for each soul that is rescued and returns home (Luke 15:7).
- He continues to search and to wait. How long? That conclusion depends upon how we read the Scriptures. The Old Testament is about the law; the New Testament is about the relationship. Let’s keep this truth in mind as we consider these parables.
As in all things, seek the Lord to open your eyes to His truth. Scripture is like peeling an onion, which has layer upon layer all the way to its core. Let’s keep peeling those layers back through prayer, study, reading and discussion.
Abba, You have so much to show us and we have so little time on this earth. I can only think that our education continues into Your kingdom. May we learn to trust You more, love You more, and follow You more closely every day. Amen.