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”.1
All three main characters represent parties who are probably present when Jesus takes advantage of a teachable moment.
Learn more about this popular passage in this Bible Study (based on this previous sermon) by viewing the videos, slideshow, Greek text, bibliography and more below. For the author’s translation, please see the text of the previous sermon.
The situation of a soldier and the prodigal son are not the same, of course. Yet, when we see such emotional reactions from these modern-day fathers, who also may not have known the exact whereabouts (or well-being!) of their sons, maybe we can empathize a bit more with the amazing, gracious father of the parable.
- God’s grace is so Amazing because, just like the younger son, we don’t deserve it (Rom 6:23, Eph 2:8-8). We cannot earn our reconciliation back to God simply by doing what we should have been doing in the first place
- Many times we don’t look up at God until we are on our backs.
- Repentance is often hardest for those who don’t think they need it (Garland, 634)
- God can allow the repercussions of sin work themselves out in the lives of those who willfully turn away from Him and go their own way (Garland, 620)
- If anyone turns from their self-centered, sinful way and humbly turns back to their Heavenly Father (i.e., repent), they will be lovingly embraced and celebrated in Heaven (Bock BECNT, 1320; Garland, 620).
- If anyone truly repents, they should be lovingly embraced and celebrated on Earth (by their spiritual family) (Bock BECNT, 1320; Garland, 620).
- Those who accept Christ must accept others accepted by Christ (Garland, 620)
- We are not worthy, but God thought we were worth saving. That’s Amazing Grace!
- “This unit is popularly called “The Prodigal Son,” a title whose roots go back to the Vulgate… Some call it ‘The Gracious Father,’ a good alternative. Nonetheless, a title like ‘A Father and His Two Different Sons’ may be even better.” Darrell L. Bock, Luke: 9:51–24:53, vol. 2, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1996), 1306.