Yesterday at church the sermon was about the parable of the prodigal son. My literature brain kicked on and I jotted down some notes about the passage which I think sheds some light on what Jesus is talking about.
First, we commonly assume the parables are little stories that talk about timeless truths. In reality, the parables were directly related to the circumstances surrounding Jesus in Israel. They were, in their essential form, stories in which Jesus takes the story of Israel and re-tells the story in ways that would have been radical and shocking to any self-respecting Jew who heard them. The presiding concern of the New Testament is the formation of the Church – the most important question for the NT, then, concerns the Jew/Gentile divide because the Church which Christ was drawing to Himself was the entire Church, drawing the Gentiles into the priestly people of Israel. Continue reading “The Parable of the Prodigal Son”