I never cease to be amazed by the Word of God.
The Holy Bible.
Each and every time I read it, I learn something new.
Even if I have read the same story ten times,
Something new will always shine through.
Since school began, our church has been studying the parables in the book of Luke.
-In case you don’t know, parables are just stories, told to make a point-
I can’t even say how many times I’ve read those stories.
What I can tell you is that this time around,
A couple of things stood out to me in a different way.
I would like to share them with you here.
The first parable Jesus tells us about in Luke 15,
is about sheep.
This parable is about one hundred sheep.
Actually, it is about one sheep.
Here’s the way the story unfolds;
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
The second parable in Luke 15 is about a coin, and it goes like this;
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The third and final parable in Luke 15 is about a prodigal son.
Jesus tells it like this;
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
I’ll start with the last one first.
As I said before, I have heard this story many, many times.
I have heard it preached as “The Prodigal Son”.
The son ran away and it seems like he had to do that to understand how good he really already had it.
I have heard it taught as “The Running Father”.
The father was so overwhelmed with joy at his sons return, that he ran to meet him. (Very undignified, by the way, for a Jewish man in stately robes!)
I have heard it presented as “The Jealous Son”.
The older son stayed home and worked for his father, but had a pretty bad attitude about it, and was royally upset that his run-a-way brother got the party.
This time, the story was told very differently.
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have come up with it myself.
This time it was taught as “The Missing Older Brother”.
Who was this missing older brother?
He was the one telling the story.
He was Jesus.
If we have trusted Jesus, then He is our older brother.
He is our Brother, because when we are rescued by God,
Then we become His children.
Brothers and sisters of Christ.
*In the parable of the coin, the woman rejoiced with her friends because she found it again.
*In the parable of the sheep, the shepherd rejoiced because what was once lost was found.
*In the parable of the prodigal son, there was a great party and celebration because of the sons return.
*In our own parable, there is rejoicing in heaven when we choose to follow Jesus, when we choose to become His family.
Please note; in the coin story, the woman lit a lamp to help to find her coin, and rejoiced with her friends when she found it.
Please note; in the sheep story, the shepherd went to retrieve his lost sheep, then returned to the flock of ninety-nine.
In the story of the run-a-way son,
The son had to choose to come home.
I never noticed that before, so it made me ask why?
The answer was so simple; I didn’t know how I missed it.
He (God) chose us from the beginning.
We must choose Him.
We must choose to make our home with Him.
We must choose to be His family.
If He made us be His family, then we would be like robots.
He wants us to choose Him, so that we can be happy with our choice.
We want a Significant Encounter with Him.
He does not want to keep us as slaves with Him against our will.
That makes the choosing so much more important, really significant.
And the celebration in heaven and on earth much bigger and better!
Have you chosen Him today?
Have you encountered Him yet?
If you have – We all rejoice!
If you have not but would like to,
Please click on the “Rescue” tab on the
Top of this page.
Oh and, Welcome to the family! We celebrate you this day!