This is our last weekend in March. Today and tomorrow we are breaking down one of the most famous parables in the entire Bible, which is, interestingly, only found in the Book of Luke. Which, again, is just another reason Luke is my favorite. This month began, for me, filled with excitement and anticipation as I could not wait to dive into this book and bring to light some of the best stories and teachings I have taken when reading this Gospel. Then recent events changed the atmosphere of this country and I found myself searching for more relevant verses within the Gospel of Luke to help calm the storm around us. I hope that these last four days in March teach you something new or help you see this great Gospel in a different light. I continue to pray for you all; that you stay healthy, that your families stay healthy, that your friends and coworkers stay healthy. Easter is coming. April will be a month of resurrection.
11Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate…
17“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20So he got up and went to his father. (Luke 15:11-20)
The Parable of the Prodigal Son. There is no parable that compares to this story that Jesus uses to teach us many life lessons. I hope that when you read Luke 15 back on March 20 these passages jumped out to you. Whether you have ever read the Bible or not, most likely you are familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son. I saw recently that there’s even an NBC series that ran its first season under the same name. Today we are looking at the first part of this famous parable, the story of the Prodigal. This parable teaches three distinct stories, and tomorrow we will look at the other two, but today, we’ll focus on who most people think this parable is about.
The Prodigal Son speaks to people because his mistakes and faults resonate with most of us. I’ve been there. I’ve left the comforts of my earthly father, and my Heavenly Father, to do my own thing. While I did not have an inheritance to squander like the prodigal son did, if I had, I would have most likely done the same thing in my early 20s. Not even most likely, looking back on my life, the way I lived in my 20s, I would have easily blown an inheritance in a few years. I drank, clubbed, partied, vacationed as extravagantly as I could afford, and that was with money I had worked hard to earn on my own. If I had a large amount just given to me, I, unfortunately, would have done all those things on even larger scales. So, yes, I can relate to the Prodigal Son. The truth of this parable is that this story is about straying away from the Kingdom of God. We like to think that it’s speaking to those in the world that are out sinning and living those “wild” lives. Nah, G, this is about all of us. If we aren’t living lives for Jesus and to grow the kingdom of God, we are all prodigal sons. If we spend our free time letting the distractions of this world consume us, we’re just as guilty as the prodigal son. We may not be living the “wild” lives we would want, but we are wasting the valuable life God has given us. So don’t think that just because you aren’t out being wild and crazy, actively sinning; not being a true Christian, not loving your neighbor, not living a generous life, not reading the Bible, not finding a church, not practicing good fellowship, not respecting your parents, not giving your children the attention they deserve, and so on. If this is the way you are squandering your inheritance, yeah, G, you’re a “prodigal son.” But lucky for all of us, this story is not about us, it’s about the love of the Father, and we’ll see just how important that is when we look at the rest of this parable tomorrow.
Since January 1, I asked those following this blog to pray for a specific miracle to happen in your life, and we have prayed for it everyday since. If you have not seen your miracle be brought to life, for the next week we are going to ask God to speak life into this prayer and answer your request by the end of this month. Today we are also going to start to pray for another specific miracle. We are going to pray for God to use this pandemic to open the eyes of the world and bring everyone’s focus back to God and allow them to fix their eyes on Jesus. Maudy Thursday will be the day COVID stops spreading and Good Friday will see the first day of recovery. And Easter Sunday will be the day of resurrection for this country. Pray this prayer with me every day.
Reading plan: Luke 22:47-71
Deeper reading plan: 2 Samuel 22
Prayer and meditation: continue to pray for your request from day 1 and pray for God to lift Coronavirus off the face of this Earth on Good Friday.
Fitness challenge: Run a mile and a half for time.
Service Challenge: It’s been three weeks since we got out in the community due to COVID-19. Start looking for ways you can serve your community while maintaining your social distance.