Probably one of the most memorable parables that Jesus ever told is the one in Luke 15:11-32 on the "prodigal son." This parable continues Jesus' theme from the previous verses about lost sinners who repent. The reason why the parable of the prodigal son is so important is that it expresses the gospel in a nutshell. It highlights the core theological issues in Jesus' messages: repentance, God's unconditional love, and the joyful welcome of sinners. After all, Paul says, "The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners
" (1 Tim 1:15).
It is interesting to note that the actions of the shepherd searching for his sheep and the woman searching for the coin are nothing out of the ordinary. They do what we would expect them to do. Most of us would do the same! But the actions taken by thefather
in the third story are unique, marvelous, and divine. The sons in the story assume that their father's love was conditional. But the parable shows that both sons were cherished by the fatherbecause they were sons
, not because of what they did or did not do. This act expresses God's unconditional love for all who are his "children" and call on his name for life.
Songs that we will sing this week are provided in a playlist here
, and include the following:
- All I Have is Christ
- Your Great Name
- Speak, O Lord