Thursday, August 01, 2013

Daily Gospel Devotional 2013: Lost and found

Luke 15:11-32…

Jesus had been responding to the grumbling of the Pharisees at His response to sinners. This parable serves as His final, forceful revelation of their hearts. For the religious leaders listening to Jesus, this was a humiliating exposure of their hypocrisy.

The story paints the younger son as being very impatient and imprudent. There is no attempt to minimize the seriousness of his sins. Jesus did receive sinners, but He never minimized sin. This represented those people whom the religious leaders thought Jesus shouldn’t associate with.

Yet, while the younger son’s sins were great, so was his repentance. When he finally realized his folly, against his earthly father and his Heavenly Father, it caused him to look for forgiveness.  His repentant spirit is reflected in his deep sense of unworthiness. He does not claim any rights, he only hopes for mercy. This represented those people who had turned to Jesus. 

The father had allowed the younger son to go his own way, but he never left his heart. He ran to meet the son as soon as he saw him returning. The father did not force the son to grovel. He instead restored him and started rejoicing. This represented the loving heart of the Heavenly Father, who willingly grants forgiveness, and rejoices in the return of the wayward.

The older brother refused to join in the celebration. He thought his father’s favor was because of his good works, and expected his younger brother to have been disowned due to his bad works. He actually thought that he had been entirely faithful, but he disobeyed his father by not participating. It was not the younger brother’s sins which caused the father’s celebration, but his repentance. The older brother not only failed to comprehend grace, he resented it. The older brother represented the religious leaders who were grumbling against Jesus.

Both sons were equally in need. One simply had needs that are more outwardly evident. The truth is we all need Christ and an understanding of God’s heart for the lost. Understanding grace means you look for the lost and rejoice when they’re found. 

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

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