Three years ago, I was preaching in Watseka, IL at Trinity Church. They have had some flooding there this year and I would like to ask you to pray for them as they recover and care for their neighbors. We were working through the gospel of Luke and had arrived at chapter 15. This was the summary of where we had been and the challenge I gave as we wrestled with the text together.
Here’s an excerpt.
“The Pharisees and Scribes are the targets for the parable (vss. 1-3). Who were they? One way of thinking of them is that they were the most Bible literate, Bible-quoting, Bible doing, Bible-honoring, people of the first century. Who would fit that description today? Wouldn’t it be we evangelicals?
As a group, is there anyone who takes the Bible more seriously, quotes it more, or honors it more than us? This parable is targeting us. It is an arrow designed to get past our defenses. It is Jesus warning us to delight in the return of sinners to Him. It is Jesus inviting us to abandon “older brother” arrogance, the hardness of heart, the intolerance, and self-righteousness and join the celebration party that is happening “before the angels of heaven.”
Sunday Afternoon Musings
This morning I preached the third message from Luke 15. The so-called “Parable of the Prodigal Son” is perhaps the best know and the worst titled parable of all of Jesus’ masterpieces. Some have called it the greatest short story ever told. Jesus is hunting hearts.
Unfortunately, both the naming of the parable and the predominant focus when it is taught leads us away from the point that Jesus was primarily aiming at.
The parable was told for a particular audience. Verses 1-2 tell us that the Pharisees and the Scribes were upset with the rabble that was drawing near to Jesus. They felt the tax collectors and sinners that Jesus was eating with were unclean and unworthy of an audience with Jesus. Verse 3 is short but is the key to interpreting the entire parable, “So, he told them this parable.”
Because He knows their heart, because He…
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