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The Father\'s heart

Luke 15:11-32

Pastor David Ernst

Third Sunday after Trinity
Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca  
Barinas, Venezuela

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Sun, Jun 20, 2021 

Grace and peace in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The fifteenth chapter of Luke reveals the Father's love for the lost. The doctrine of universal atonement or objective justification is the basis of this parable. God, in Christ, earnestly and earnestly desires the salvation of all.

ďAnd all the publicans and sinners came to him to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them. "

Verses 1 and 2 give us the situation: the social outcasts, the open sinners who were repenting, were listening to Jesus. They were despised and expelled from synagogues across the country; they were not allowed to associate with Jews of good repute. But these outcasts came, not like most other people, primarily for the purpose of witnessing miracles of various kinds, but to hear it. The blessed words of salvation attracted them; They couldn't hear enough of the healing message that Christ proclaimed.

But the Pharisees and scribes, who were covert and unrepentant sinners, in their discontent and jealousy, began to complain about Jesus. In response, Jesus spoke three parables. On this Father's Day, let's focus on the third, the story of the prodigal son.

Clearly, the father in this parable is almighty God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth. We call the first person of the Holy Trinity the Father because he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and also our Father because he has created us and all creatures. Furthermore, we are children of God by adoption in holy baptism. The Son, the second person of the Trinity, taught his disciples to pray to our Father, who is in heaven. Our heavenly Father is our true Father, yet He has entrusted us to the care of our earthly parents, our biological parents. God has given us the gift of physical life through the men he has begotten us. The father must take responsibility for the material and spiritual needs of his children, as the heavenly Father protects and cares for us. Although no human parent is perfect, we must honor them as God's representatives in our lives.

And the sons of the parable? The Christian sees himself in both children.

The younger son longed to be free from his father's expectations. This is the typical form of rebellion. Also the consequences in this parable. But he loses his freedom and finds slavery and misery. The youngest son converted everything he had received into cash and spent it. So in verse 15 he becomes a slave. Pig feeding was forbidden to Jews and here denotes total degradation.

But, the younger son is also the example of true repentance. A humble and contrite heart is the sacrifice pleases the Lord. Verse 21 indicates the humility of contrition but also trust in the Father.

"And the son said to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and against you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son."

The father did not respond with anger and denounced. "But the father said to his servants: Bring the best garment, and clothe him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; and bring the fatted calf and kill him, and let us eat and celebrate; because this my son is dead. he was, and is revived; he was lost, and is found. And they began to rejoice. "

Because of the father's compassion, the son gained more than he had lost. He did not receive the old robe from him, but the best robe from the father.

The eldest son was also a rebellious son, because his heart was not with his father. He obeyed the father's will to win his favor. Hearing the sound of music and dancing, he became very angry with the result that he refused to enter. Note that the eldest son does not address his father with respect, but simply says: "Behold, I have served you for so many years, never having disobeyed your commandment, and you have never given me a kid to enjoy with my friends. . "

Verses 29-30 show that although the eldest son had everything at his disposal, he speaks of himself as a slave, a man of self-righteousness, perfect obedience, a man who was not receiving what was expected of him, a man who is extremely jealous of the person who has received mercy. He is a remarkable image of the disguised, dissatisfied and jealous unrepentant sinner who complains about the Lord.

Also, in verse 29, he is practically saying that he never has a good time. In verse 30 he refuses to talk about his brother, but he calls him "this son of yours." All he can do is criticize his father. The mention of harlots is made without proof, but on the basis of probability.

The eldest son's heart, of course, is not with his father, but the father still loves him very much. The only difference between the children, in the application, is that one regrets and the other does not.

However, the father shows affection for the eldest son: "My dear son." The father does not show the slightest anger and the eldest son has not been denied anything. We would have expected the father to be angry with the older son. But he is not.

By God's grace he repents and he knows that, for Christ's sake, he has been forgiven. But he also sees the element of the eldest son in himself. We need to repent even of our imperfect repentance. The parable shows all sinners the way of redemption.

The entire life of every Christian is one continual repentance. True Christians, through daily contrition and repentance, turn away from the world and its charms, turn to God the Father, pray daily with true faith for the forgiveness of all offenses, and rejoice in the experience of God's love. God towards sinners. Such Christians will rejoice from the heart every time a prodigal son or daughter returns and asks for admission; They will receive them in accordance with the merciful will of God, never forgetting that everyone who is saved receives this mercy in the same way as the thief on the cross, only by grace. In this we have peace that passes all understanding. Amen.

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