Love of father

The power of words

Jesus tells three parables (story) in Luke chapter 15. The last “Parable of the Prodigal Son” is probably the most famous parable of Jesus. But as verse 11 says, “One person had two sons,” I think this can be seen as actually focusing on the father rather than the son. Today is Father’s Day. We can see the love of God the Father in Luke chapter 15. I will post the full text of the Bible.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “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? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 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 Parable of the Lost Coin

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 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 Parable of the Lost Son

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. (Luke 15: 1-32)

“The Return of the Prodigal Son” Rembrandt van Rijn / 1666-68 Hermitage Museum

The reason why Jesus told these stories in the first place can be seen in verses 1 and 2. tax collectors and sinners approached to hear Jesus’ story (verse 1). Then the Pharisees and the scribes muttered: “This man, Jesus, accepts sinners and even eats with them.” The nuance is that it is ridiculous.

So Jesus gave three parables, as it was written to them (Pharisees, scribes) that he had told such parables (verse 3). Luke Chapter 15 is a trilogy that depicts finding lost things and rejoicing together. Lost sheep, lost silver coins, prodigal son. The three stories have a common theme.

1.  The precious thing has gone missing.  2. What was missing was worth the effort to find it.  3. This search can be found as a result and ends with joy.

First is the parable of the lost sheep. It was very important to the shepherd. He might have named it. Sheep are an important part of the shepherd’s life. So he will search until he finds it. And when he finds it, he will be overjoyed to come back with the sheep and summon his friends and neighbors to say, “I found the missing sheep, so please be happy with me” (verse6). I tell you, just as a shepherd is pleased to find a lost sheep (while they are approaching to hear me now). If one of them repents, there is joy in heaven (verse 7). I rejoice, but why don’t you rejoice with me? He is asking the Pharisees and the scribes of the law.

And Jesus goes on to tell the following story (verses 8-10). If a woman loses a piece of silver, she will turn on the lights, sweep the house, and search hard until she finds it. The lost silver coins were so important to the owner’s woman that her life was at stake. If we lose money at home, we’ll be looking for it carefully. When a woman finds a silver coin, she will summon her friends and neighbors and say, “I found the lost silver coin, so please be happy with me.”

I tell you, just as this woman found a silver coin, a sinner (one of the people who are now gathering to hear me) If they repent, joy will come to God’s angels (verse 10). Jesus asks the Pharisees and the scribes, why are you muttering, not rejoicing, when the angels rejoice?

Pompeo Batoni “The Return of the Prodigal Son” (1772)

The last of the third parable is the story of the Prodigal Son. As his son returned, Dad ran up, gladly welcomed him, and began the feast (verse 24). However, the older brother son were angry at the father who welcomed this younger brother (the prodigal son) (verse 28). But dad told him. “Your brother has come back to life when he was dead. It’s no wonder he’s having fun and rejoicing because he’s found it gone.”

Why are you, like your older brother, when they (the sinners who are now approaching to hear me) have repented and returned to God the Father, don’t you try to rejoice? Jesus asks the Pharisees and the scribes three times.

These three parables were directly told to the Pharisees and the scribes. I think that “please rejoice together” is the central theme of this story. Romans 12:15 says, ” Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep .”

One sheep is gone. One silver coin is gone. One son has left his father. It can be said that it is a human figure. We have moved away from the place where we should be, the source of God. This missing thing was well worth the effort to find. The shepherd tried hard to find a lost sheep. The woman carefully searched for the lost silver coin. Dad has been waiting for his son to come back. Here we see the love of God the Father. In other words, treat one person carefully. To God we humans are not a crowd. A precious person. God sees each of us as an expensive and precious being. It is important to have the correct view of God.

Since the human father is imperfect, if we look at God the Father based on that father, we will have the wrong view of God. I think there are many cases of this unexpectedly. If the evaluation of one’s father is low, the evaluation of God the Father will naturally be low. Religious reformer Martin Luther confesses that he couldn’t pray by saying a long-standing prayer phrase. It is a prayer, “Heavenly Father.” It seems that he could not call God “Heavenly Father”. That’s because his father was a very strict person. Therefore, when he thought that there were more strict father in heaven, he couldn’t call God “heavenly father” with friendliness. But while the human father is imperfect, God the Father in heaven is perfect.

The younger brother was prodigal. When he ran out of money, tasted poverty, almost starved to death, and fell to the bottom, he returned to himself. When he is desperate for life, he decide to return to his father. I’m sure he was nervous because he did not meet his father in a long time. He would have been afraid to be rejected. But something unexpected happened. Still far from home, his father found him, felt sorry for him, ran up, hugged him, and kissed him (verse 20). The God we believe in is the God who runs up. When he was far from home, he noticed his son that he was always looking through the window or out of the house and looking far away. If he didn’t care about it all the time, he wouldn’t have been able to find him when his son was far away.

Although he was a prodigal son, his father, who was deeply pleased with his return, tells 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.(verse 22-24)

Nothing is worse than being lost before God. It’s more serious than death. But if it is found by God, great joy will arise in heaven (verses 7, 10). There is joy on this earth, but a feast of joy is held in heaven. We have God the Father, full of love and mercy. If we believe in Jesus, we will be a child of God, and we can pray to God the Father as “Heavenly Father.” The Bible says. Those who accepted him(Jesus Christ) , that is, those who believed in his name ( the name of Jesus Christ), were given the privilege of being children of God (John 1:12). ). God the Father is worried about us. If we get hurt in our lives, he feels sorry for us. It is the God we believe that not only feels sorry, but also runs towards us. There is a personal and lively relationship here. God envelops us with amazing love. Here is hope, love, and blessings.

James Tissot “The Return of the Prodigal Son” / (1886-94) Brooklyn Museum

However, his older son did not participate in this feast. This was the position taken by the Pharisees and scribes. This parable ends in verse 32, but I personally wonder if this parable really ends here. I sometimes feel that way when reading or watching stories in novels and movies. For example, in a two-hour movie, a man and a woman get married after overcoming various difficulties. And the movie ends with a happy ending. I think  what happened to them after this? The heroes manage to save the dying Earth. But what happened to the world after that?

Here the father says to older son: “Come together. Let’s eat together. Let’s sing and dance together. Today is a feast.” Speaking of how to write a novel and how to make a movie, the older brother was persuaded by his father and he was reluctant to talk about his father, go and shake hands or hug his brother. And the servants applaud when they see it. I think that this story will end or be completed only in such a situation.

But the parable of Jesus ends at verse 32. Jesus dares to end the story here. This parable was primarily what Jesus told the Pharisees. He spoke as an invitation to them. So it can be said that the Pharisee was the one who should end this story.

What happened to them? They did not rejoice with Jesus that sinners repented. The Pharisees declined Jesus’ invitation. Instead of being stabbed in the heart, they made their heart stubborn and finally crucified Jesus and killed him. 

Did the older brother in this parable understand God’s love? I think the opposite. This older brother knew his father’s love well. His father’s love is tremendous. He knew that it was endless enough to go against his common sense. That’s why he was angry.

His brother is coming back from work. When he came back from work, he wasn’t wearing the fine clothes, as his brother was wearing. His clothes were dirty. At the very least, when they have a feast, I wonder if they should have waited for him to come back. Or someone went to him who was working and said, “This is a message from my master. Your younger brother is back, so please finish your work and come back soon. Let’s eat together. I think it was okay to say. But this dad didn’t do that at all. He just unconditionally welcomed his younger son and completely forgave him. It would have been very difficult for him to be pleased with it. Is it possible to waste the property of the house like hot water and unconditionally accept those who have returned “I’m home”, even if it’s a share of my brother? Can we say, “Dad is wonderful. He often forgave my brother unconditionally and showed generosity. Dad’s love is the best. Hallelujah.” Probably not the average person. I think this is one of the stumbling blocks of Christianity. In short, the love of God the Father is amazing, far beyond human knowledge.

Why was his younger son welcomed? That’s because he has returned to his father. That’s it. The Pharisees could not accept such a sinner’s repentance and forgiveness by God. How about us? Maybe we, like the Pharisees, could be like the older son. The father says it’s natural to celebrate, but can we both be pleased that others have been blessed with their recovery?

The father had two sons, both of whom were lost. The younger brother was lost in a way that everyone could understand. On the other hand, his brother seemed to be loyal to his father on the surface, but his heart was far away. Dad loved both his sons. It seems that God the Father loves everyone.

When his brother came home and the feast was being held, he was angry and refused to enter the house (verse 28). He says I have served my dad for many years (verse 19), but the Greek word here seems to mean “serving as a slave” because the word “durewo” is used. It can be said that the older son were also slaves, while the younger brother was a slave of desire. He lived with his dad, but it looks like a slave to the law, who came because he had to work with him, not because he was happy to work with him. If we serve God with a sense of duty rather than motive for love, we will be like this brother.

He was full of loneliness for his father. He forgot that he was a son of his father, but he felt like a servant. The younger brother returned to his father, saying that he was not qualified to be a child, please be a servant, but he was still a child and experienced his amazing love.  Older son also lost the identity of “I am the son of my father. I am the son of God.” Let us never forget the identity that we are children of God.

The older brother forgot that his father’s belongings belonged to him (verse 31). He probably thought of his father as a stingy old man. God we believe in has everything. We have the privilege of receiving inheritance. If you belong to Christ, then you are a descendant of Abraham and a promised heir. (Galatians 3:29)

Because we are children of God. God the Father speaks amazing words to us. “All mine is yours.” (Verse 31) It was his father’s wish that his son would also join the feast of joy. It is God’s will to rejoice together. Our father wanted the family to be one. God wants the church community to become one.

Jesus sees the Pharisees repenting of sinners and asks them, using three parables, why the lost people are found in God and why you are not pleased with them.  But I think this is also a question to us. “Rejoice with those who rejoice,” says the Bible. Be thankful for God’s love for ourselves and praise God’s love and God’s work for other brothers and sisters. We want to be a person who rejoices with a person who rejoices.

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Posted by: canaan

I used to be a pastor in the metropolitan area for 10 years, but now I am a pastor at a local Christian church. I also run a travel agency and a farm. I myself have been empowered by various words, and I would like to convey hopeful words. 

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埼玉県で10年間&北海道で10年間牧師の働きをしました。現在は神奈川県の教会で協力牧師をしています。私自身が様々なことば(特に聖書のことば)で力づけられてきたので、希望に満ちたことばをお伝えしたいと願っています。I used to be a pastor in Saitama prefecture for 10 years and Hokkaido for 10 years. Now I am a cooperating pastor in Kanagawa prefecture. I myself have been empowered by various words(especially Bible ), so I would like to tell the hopeful words. 


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