‘The Parable of the Two Lost Sons and Gracious Father’. Doesn’t have the same ring to it, right? Yet, it is likely a bit more accurate than “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” or “The Parable of the Lost Son”. All three main characters represent parties who are probably present when Jesus takes advantage of a teachable moment…
On the road of life, how tempting is it to type in our own GPS coordinates, head to where we want to go, and then ask God for traveling mercies? If we claim to follow Christ, however, we must let Jesus take the wheel. Following Jesus means we must be willing to “lose” our lives (metaphorically or even literally) for Christ. We must be ride-or-die.
This intriguing account, structured chiastically, tells how God disinherits and scatters peoples across the earth and assigned members of His divine council to govern each nation (cf. Dt 32:8-9, ESV) — before taking Israel as His special inheritance (cf. the Call of Abraham in Genesis 12f.) to establish His Kingdom.
In Psalm 82, God (Elohim, singular) stands in the divine assembly of elohim (plural)– lesser, created, divine/spiritual beings. At least some of these elohim are condemned by God for not exercising justice when governing the nations. They were supposed to govern justly concerning the poor, needy, fatherless, powerless – but they didn’t do their job. Therefore God says these disobedient elohim will die like mortals. Then the Psalmist prays that the LORD manifests His justice over all the nations – for they’re all, ultimately, the LORD’s inheritance.
The fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge and wisdom. We must acknowledge that we creatures lack the knowledge and wisdom of the Creator. Thus, it only makes sense to follow the Creator of life’s instructions for life. We are to trust in the LORD entirely and exclusively, not in our feeble understanding. In everything we do, we are to submit to Him, and He will make our paths straight (morally). Let us not rely on our own moral compass and ethical judgments, for it is the LORD who is the ultimate Judge.
Research suggests that the modern conception of freedom — our most cherished value — is almost purely negative (i.e., freedom *from* constraints). The Truth of Jesus gives (negative) freedom *from* sin and (positive) freedom *to* fulfill our original purpose — right relationship with God. Though our culture often co-opts His words, His is the Truth that truly “will set you free.”
Children resemble their parents; Children of God must resemble their Heavenly Father. We must have a distinctive family resemblance — that sets us apart from the world. We must strive to be holy as He is holy. We must be the salt of the earth, and light of the world.
This popular prophecy of Isaiah (8th century BC) foretells of a Suffering Servant whose substitutionary, atoning death would heal the broken relationship between God and His people. In the NT, Jesus is identified as this messianic figure who was humbled before being exalted…
To make his case for the Resurrection, Paul cites both his subjective, personal experience in addition to objective, historical evidence. We should do the same. For though people have their philosophical prejudices, given the historical facts that scholars of all stripes agree upon, the Resurrection is the best historical explanation.