What we see in the story of the Prodigal Son, therefore is a father who reflects both aspects of Divine Mercy: 1) His faithfulness to Himself, to His commitments as a Father to care for his children, and thus his "hesed," and 2) His passionate pity for His lost son's plight; in other words His "rahamim." Older and younger contain more than a hint of the old (historic national Israel), and the new (the people whom Jesus was gathering around himself as the reconstituted people of God). For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.’. 16:14), but the polemical point is the same: the leaders of Israel cannot accept the idea that the poor, the wretched, the oppressed, the “tax collectors and sinners” are at this critical moment being restored to the family of Abraham. The servant explains to the older son that his brother has returned and that his father has killed the fattened calf “because he has received him back safe and sound” (15:27). Abraham is given an active speaking role on the rich man and Lazarus story. Of the thirty-or-so parables in the canonical Gospels, this parable was one of four that were shown in medieval art—along with that of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, the Dives and Lazarus, and the Good Samaritan—almost to the exclusion of the others, though not mixed in with the narrative scenes of the Life of Christ. But there is enough there I think. It’s an interesting, if esoteric, point of view. 2. Marian.orgTheDivineMercy.orgAllHeartsAfire.orgDivineMercyArt.orgShopMercy.orgMarianPlus.org, Send us an email1-800-462-7426FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, Official promoters of the authentic Divine Mercy message since 1941. I have pointed out before that this is not a story about personal salvation by grace rather than by works—the younger son rejoins a family which still includes the older hard-working son; and I recommend reading this post in conjunction with the earlier one. The story of the regathering of the Jews and Paul’s exploration of it is a complex theme from the OT to be sure. He had a loving father, a good home, provision, a future, and an inheritance, but he traded it all in for temporal pleasures. The fact that he leaves the story with that invitation makes you wonder how many of them responded… although having him arrested and persuading the Romans to execute him certainly makes an interesting alternative ending to the story. Why didn’t Jesus just come out and say it: God is going to punish you with violent destruction? I still think it reduces a superb literary tour de force, which leaps from its context to other contexts, as described, to something bland and of antiquarian interest only. justifiably applies to those details which in your reading are taken to deny an association with God. On the small screen, Phillips was also a main cast member on the 2012 series Longmire. These would be my reservations: 1. You’re entitled to see things differently. But first it is always helpful to determine original audience relevance before doing so. After his son leaves, the father must be in agony, wondering and concerned every day what his son might be doing and what trouble he is getting into. All rights reserved. After the resurrection Jesus tells the disciples he he will send “the promise of my Father upon you”, with reference to the Holy Spirit (24:49). 1. I think it much more likely that Jesus spoke prophetically to Israel with a fairly clear communicative intention in mind. We normally associate prodigal with the son, and rightfully so; however, something pretty amazing happens if we associate this word with the father and his grace. It should offend us today, and if it hasn’t, the story has been inadequately understood. I’m quite convinced Deuter 30 lies behind the Lost Son and Psalm 49 is behind the RM & L in ch 16. But a false identification may also take place. The tax collector is exactly in the position of the prodigal son who was lost and needed to be restored to his family. He draws parallels between the story of Jacob and the parable of the prodigal son by Jesus. LOS ANGELES: Academy and Tony Award winner Catherine Zeta-Jones is set to star in a leading role on the upcoming second season of Fox's 'Prodigal Son'. One third of the story describes the older brother. Did Jesus believe that Gentiles would be included in the renewed people of God? In fact, there was a complete role reversal. Considering the background of a biblical passage often helps us to better understand its meaning, and this is indeed the case with this parable of the prodigal son. As long-time readers of this Journal know, Dr. John used the Parable of the Prodigal Son as a metaphor for the presence of evil on the physical planet Earth. https://heavy.com/entertainment/2019/09/the-prodigal-son-meaning-plot In reply to Norman, thanks for the by Andrew. It is an attitude of total surrender to God that is best understood as an "entrustment" of our whole lives to Him. How long did Israel stay in Assyria [1 Chr 5:26][2 Kings 17:6]? There may be overtones, but the parable itself directly addresses the current situation—the significance of the restoration of people like Zacchaeus to the family of Abraham and the difficulty that Jesus’ opponents had accepting that. 1. I should point out that the exposition of the parable in the Finnish loghouse in relation to Rembrandt’s ‘The Return of the Prodigal’ can only be made if the exegesis of the preceding posts which I have offered in this comment is accepted as correct. 5. Rom 9:6-8  But it is not as though the word of God has failed. But on a bumpy flight down to the south of France a couple of days ago I began to think there may also be grounds for questioning the traditional attribution of paternity. The main idea, however, of forgiveness, and being restored will shine through to everyone. (The Labourers in the Vineyard also appears in Early Medieval works.) However that study in itself as I said is complex and I’m still processing how it is presented in the OT and interpreted in the NT. In reply to Sorry Andrew. New Testament eschatological texts categorised by horizon, The narrative architecture of Jesus’ apocalyptic discourse in Mark 13, How Paul can proclaim one Lord Jesus Christ and not compromise Jewish monotheism, How the context makes sense of the separation of the “sheep” and “goats” at the parousia. Let me know if I’m overlooking something. I don’t think he was saying to the Pharisees, “Here’s an interesting story, make of it what you will.”. In the story of the rich man and Lazarus, Abraham is presumably in heaven in some sense. Jordan states that his view is up for evaluation and between the two articles he lays out some details that appear to support his concepts. We take as our text today the parable of the prodigal son. …and of course Abraham is never mentioned. If necessary, “God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham”. The Father says to him, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours” (15:31). “Proverb” (mashal) in verse 4 could be a “parable”. Modern readers, influenced by their various traditions, with their different levels of education, with their different cultural backgrounds, with their different ideological biases, will always read the way they want to read. If you are going to argue for a reader-response understanding of the parable within its original setting, you should really provide some evidence that this is an appropriate hermeneutic for such literature under such cultural conditions. I certainly don’t see how Jesus could have the Gentiles in view. And as the reward for his great magnanimity, the father recovers his beloved son. Wright's Christian Origins books (I-III), The narrative premise of a post-Christendom theology, Answers to questions about the narrative-historical method, New year, new attempt to explain what this blog is all about. These parables have a way of inviting identification with (or disapproval of) a person or persons in the story, which then may come back and bite us. If we want to make application after that to other issues that seem relevant then the scriptures are up to that challenge as well I’m sure. Word repentance and restoration of Israel ; they have become like Gentiles appear to mentioned! Last days, resurrection no condemnation of the prodigal son during his absence 's... 22:29 ) church, but that ’ s interpretation as an `` entrustment '' of our lives! In me repeating them know if I ’ m sorry I ’ m I. Plentiful inheritance to enjoy life disciples should love their enemies and be merciful “. In by Mark esoteric, point of the story is a familiar one that describes the of... 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