"Prodigal Son," Chuck Hoffman. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by Chuck Hoffman. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Lost Sheep, Coin, Son
Luke 15:1-32 Commentary
by Audrey West
Number Two Son asks Dad for a handout, skips town, squanders his inheritance, and decides to come home only when he runs out of options.
Number One Son never shirks his responsibilities and does everything his father asks of him, but he resents his father’s gifts being showered upon his younger brother.
Which son needs to repent? Both. Which one deserves to feast on the fatted calf? Neither. And yet, both are invited to join in the celebration.
In conjunction with the two parables that lead up to it, the parable of the Prodigal Son is not just a good story about family dynamics. It is an illustration of God’s love for those who have remained faithful and also for those who have not.
More than enough
The three parables in this week’s reading constitute Jesus’ response to the Pharisees and scribes, who were grumbling amongst themselves about Jesus eating (repeatedly) with those people, "tax collectors and sinners" (Luke 15:1-2; see also Luke 5:29-30; 7:34).
Then and now, sharing a meal is a sign of inclusion and hospitality. It creates a bond among those who eat together. Some, however, prefer not ...
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Summer 2020 Readings
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL262: Lost Sheep, Coin, Son
March 19, 2017
This podcast on Luke 15:1-32 the Narrative Lectionary reading for Mar. 19, 2017, features Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Kathryn Schifferdecker, and Matt Skinner. Podcast recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn.