LEARNING TO BE A SON
A TALE OF TWO SONS
Jesus told a story of a father and two sons. By telling parables, Jesus used one of the rabbinic teaching methods with great effect. “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” as it is known, is the third in a chain of three stories about lost things. The purpose of the parables was to alert the Pharisees to their bad attitude towards people whom they perceived as lower than themselves. They criticised Jesus for hobnobbing with “sinners”. Jesus insisted that it was sinners who needed Him more than the “righteous”.
The first two stories illustrated how friends and family rejoice on earth when lost property is found and how angels rejoiced in heaven when a lost sinner came home. Jesus’ third story was much closer to the bone. The father received his lost son with joy when he returned home after wasting his inheritance on worthless friends and riotous living, but the elder brother refused to share in the celebration.
The older brother did not realise that he was just as lost to the father as his younger brother. The younger son left home as a rebel, wasted his money, repented and returned home to beg for a place among the servants. His father received him with joy and reinstated him as a son. The older brother remained at home but served his father as a slave. He did not realise that he was a son and that he was always with his father to share in the father’s bounty.
The difference between the older and younger son was the difference of attitude. They were both sons, even though the younger son renounced his place in the family by his attitude and behaviour until he came to his senses. The older son was just as lost to the father, although he remained at home, because he acted and served like a slave.
Both sons had no fellowship with the father, the one because he ran away and the other because he had did not share the father’s heart.
Jesus did not apply the story as He did with many other parables. He left it open-ended for the Pharisees to reach their own conclusion. It is up to us as well to make up our minds which of the two sons represent us. Some of us are sons lost to the Father because we are in the far country. We live and act like orphans. Others of us are like the elder brother who did everything right but had no fellowship with the Father because he lived like a slave. We fear God’s punishment instead of being secure in the Father’s love.
The purpose of our journey through this book is to rediscover who we really are – God’s beloved sons and daughters, restored to the Father and to the family of God because of what Jesus did for us.
God has a purpose for us in His family which we discover through prayer – having fellowship with the Father so that we can get to know Him and so that we can learn what He wants to accomplish for His kingdom through us.
It is because we are His sons and daughters that we have access to Him and to all the resources He makes available to us in Christ and through the Holy Spirit to accomplish His will on earth and to re-establish His rule in the hearts of those who believe in and receive Jesus as Lord.
“Son” is our password to access everything we have in Christ. Outside of our family relationship with the Father we are not eligible for anything that belongs to Him and to His Son.
God is writing His big story and He has invited us to be a part of it if we allow Him to write our story through Him. Now that we have the “password”, let us use it wisely because, through it He has given us access to His World Wide Web.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.
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