Rev. Sam Wirgau, pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ossian, IN, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Luke 15:11-32.
Jesus’ third parable in response to the Pharisees’ grumbling brings His teaching on the grace of God to a grand climax. Jesus speaks of a father and his two sons. The younger son asks for his inheritance ahead of time. The father responds to this terrible insult by agreeing to his son’s demand. The son liquidates his property and goes to a foreign land, providing a picture of the distance from God inherent in our sin and idolatry. The younger son hits rock bottom and comes to his senses, though he still thinks he will work his way back until he sees the love of his father. The father sees his son at a distance and runs to him; he forgives him, receives him back as a son, and throws a party. At this point, the older son shows that he too is lost. He refuses to go into his dad’s celebration, another terrible insult to the father. Yet the father goes to him as well, calling him into the same joy of being a son rather than a servant. The parable is left open-ended as a call to the Pharisees and scribes to join in the joy of being a part of Jesus’ kingdom with all repentant sinners.
“The Beloved Physician’s Orderly Account” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the Gospel according to St. Luke. The Evangelist wrote his well-researched account of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection so that Theophilus would have certainty concerning the things he had been taught. As we still read the Word of God recorded by St. Luke, our gracious Lord gives us that same certainty that Jesus is our Savior.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to[a] one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’[b] 22 But the father said to his servants,[c] ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org