The boy Jesus says that he must be in his Father’s house (Lk. In the story of the prodigal son, the father's unchanging, consistent, and enduring love for his son in all circumstances are a role model for loving our own children with patience, persistence, compassion, flexibility and fortitude. The three stories in Luke 15 are told because the Pharisees and scribes had grumbled (diegonguzon) about the fact that Jesus was receiving tax collectors and sinners and eating with them. But I have understood it, just in case you were wondering. Who is the father in the parable of the prodigal son? How long did Israel stay in Assyria [1 Chr 5:26][2 Kings 17:6]? This is where your interpretation runs aground. The son is consumed with bitterness and resentment, and in a way, rightly too. Dr. John said that evil itself is the “prodigal son,” which has left its father’s house (living in the presence of God). We also know that these two sons were at the forefront of Jesus’ mind [Matt 10:6; 15:24]. Let me know if I’m overlooking something. It’s hard not to see this connection between the Lost sheep of the House of Israel and the Prodigal Son when Jesus says “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” [Luke 15:6] sounding very much like ” For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” [Luke 15:24] especially given Micah’s comments in [Mic 2:12] “I shall surely assemble all of you, O Jacob; I shall gather the remnant of Israel; I shall set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture, a noisy multitude of men.”. Perhaps, but this is a parable, and the details have a natural narrative justification. The rich will be brought down and excluded; the poor and weak will be lifted up and included. 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 father has devoted his life to his family, but the prodigal son’s departure forms an unmistakable response to his father: it’s not good enough. The father’s love is so recklessly generous that it allows for rebellion. Early in the 20th century, several of the popes called the world back to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Zacchaeus is reckoned as a “son of Abraham” because he gives half of his goods to the poor and offers to recompense those whom he has defrauded (Lk. We all sin and move away from God. The first, and probably most important, point to make is that there are two theologically significant “fathers” in Luke’s Gospel, occurring in two distinct contexts. The son’s attitude does not change, and neither did the Pharisees’. The message of the Psalm is only that rich and poor, wise and foolish must all die in the end and go down to the grace. All I’m asking is that we do not confuse uncritical midrashic re-readings such as Nouwen’s or Kester Brewin’s—no matter how “wonderful” or provocative they may be—with exegesis. I read The Tale of Two Sons by John MacArthur some time ago, and found his argument that Jesus portrays himself as the father in the story convincing. I’m quite convinced Deuter 30 lies behind the Lost Son and Psalm 49 is behind the RM & L in ch 16. There is also a nod to the sinners whom Jesus was attracting to himself, in the person of the younger brother. There seems no reason to deny that Jesus meant the lost sheep, coin, and son to stand for people like Zacchaeus and the older son to stand for those members of Israel—principally the scribes and Pharisees—who grumbled about the fact that such a person might repent and be restored. Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy. The father grieved the loss of the Prodigal Son during his absence. The question of keeping the commandments does not arise in connection with the younger son. Andrew, are you familiar with Kenneth Bailey’s work on Luke 15? 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. The parable of the prodigal son clearly fits the first category of “father” sayings much better than the second—it is a story not about discipleship but about membership. 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. He wanted his share of the inheritance, and he wanted it immediately.