MONDAY, AUGUST 12
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear Him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” So He told them this parable..”
“And He said, “There was a man who had two sons.”
Luke 15:1-3, 11 (ESV)
FAR FROM HOME
Today is my(Larry) sister’s 50th birthday. Yep, she’s turning the big 50 today. We’ve been close our entire lives. As a matter of fact, we are only 10 months and 28 days apart. She was born first and I was conceived about 6 weeks later. She likes to tell people that I was an accident. I like to tell people that our parents took one look at her and thought they could do better so they made another baby as soon as they could. We also have a younger brother and the three of us have been very close our entire lives.
In Luke 15 we find a family that wasn’t so close. In Luke 15:11 Jesus uses the picture of an estranged son and a strained family to teach how God feels about people who sin and end up far from home and far from God. In Luke 15:2 the religious leaders criticized Jesus for spending time with “sinners.” So all of Luke 15 is answering the question, “Why is Jesus spending time with dirty sinners?” Jesus proceeded to tell a series of stories to illustrate God’s heart for people who are far from Him. Jesus uses the picture of a lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son to emphasize the value of every lost soul. The story starts by telling us this man had two sons. He could have just said one son, but the parable teaches the reaction of two sons, because as the story unfolds, a loving, gracious father is described interacting with two rebellious sons – one was a prodigal, and the other petulant (easily irritated and annoyed, childishly sulky or bad-tempered).
We were made for God and to be at home in a relationship with God. Our mission at Northstar is to help people find their way home. We believe that is God’s mission for the church. This week we will review some of the biblical principles Mike taught us on Sunday in regards to being Far From Home. To dig a little deeper today, take some time and read all of Luke 15. Take note of the characters and symbols. Who do you think these characters and symbols represent? Who do you most relate to in Luke 15? After reading Luke 15, why do you think Jesus was hanging out with “dirty sinners?”