Summary: Before blaming God for tragedies, calamities, and pandemics, consider what God is really like. Jesus came to shows every sinner, publican, scribe and pharisee what God is really like. Long before going to calvary and laying down his life, Jesus shared a parable in Luke 15.
Before blaming God for tragedies, calamities, and pandemics, consider what God is really like. Jesus came to shows every sinner, publican, scribe and pharisee what God is really like. Long before going to calvary and laying down his life, Jesus shared a parable in Luke 15. The parable has been called the lost and found department of the Bible, yet it is so much more. In this three part parable we find (1) the lost sheep that was found and brought home with joy, Lu 15:4-7; (2) the lost silver that was found and reclaimed with joy, Lu 15:8-10; and the lost son that came to himself and returned to his father's house in humility and repentance, and was received with great joy. This parable speaks of reconciliation and hope. Yet when we consider Jesus’ audience, there is a much deeper truth. Jesus shows the sinners, publicans, scribes and the pharisees what God is really like.
What is God really like? God is love! This little sentence brought St. John more sweetness than the whole world can bring. God is often styled holy, righteous, wise; yet not holiness, righteousness, or wisdom in the theory completely describes God. God is love; His nature, his darling, his reigning attribute, and the attribute that sheds an amiable glory on all his other perfections is love.
What is God really like? Some people think the most important question of life is “Do you believe in God?” But a more important question is “What kind of God do you believe in?” There is something worse than being an atheist - it is believing in God but having an erroneous concept of God. There are many religions in the world that present many differing pictures of God and they all may contain a little truth. A stopped clock is right twice a day, but a broken clock is worse than no clock at all because it gives you misleading information. You can believe in God, but if you have a false conception of God, you are no better off than an atheist. Everyone in Jesus’ audience had their own Idea. Today, Muslims, Hindu, Atheist, New Agers and the like, have their own Ideas.
Jesus Christ came to planet earth to show us exactly what God is like. In Luke 15. He shares three beautiful stories that paint a portrait of the character and nature of God. The Lost sheep shows the caring and seeking nature of God. The lost coin shows us how much God values each of us and his desire for our restoration. The complete story of ruin to restoration can be seen in the Prodigal Son Story. Jesus guides through the downward journey of the son as he moves from self-will, to selfishness, then separation to starvation. Then Jesus allows us to experience his climb from the realization, resolution, repentance to reunion.
Jesus uses this parable to show us what the Father God is really like. Our text begins with a certain man blessed with two sons. As we look at the story, let’s consider the star of the parable, The Good Father! This story speaks more of the father’s relationship with his sons than anything else. Notice the honesty and openness of their relationship. You can hear it in their communication, each member of the family knows that they are appreciated and valued. Relationship building can be challenging, but we must never underestimate the value of a good relationship. Some theologians believe Jesus was giving his take of an older circulate parable that was familiar to his audience.
This certain man of our text was indeed a blessed man. A man likes to have a son, daughters are beautiful and desirable, but a son keeps the family name intact. Normally, a daughter assumes the last name of her husband, while a son keeps the family history traceable and intact. This man had two loving, supportive and caring sons. We are not told what caused the younger son to want to leave home. His mother is not mentioned, but what we are told reveals several things about the father and their family relationship. The younger son was confident that he was free to talk to his father about anything. The boy became excited about the prospect of striking out on his own. He wanted to travel, to see the world and experience it for himself. He thought about it so much until any place seemed better than were he was.
Probably, knowing that the older brother would inherit 2/3 of the Father’s good, he felt that leaving home was the best alternative for him. Many people listening today, may’ve come to the same place, needing to leave the small town, to move to the big city, to get fresh start and take your chances someplace else. Much have been made of how disrespectful the young boy’s request was, but I really do not see any disrespect or malice in his request. I do see several valuable things about value of their relationship and the character of the father. What does Jesus want us to know about the father? First, Love is seen in the availability of the father!