Last night at the Florida College Lectures, Phillip Shumake, presented a lesson from Luke 15, on probably the most famous of Jesus’ parables. Like Phillip and the Dutch artist Rembrandt, whose masterpiece depicted the return of the Prodigal, we also share fascination with this parable.
These parables were precipitated, as Phillip pointed out, by the Pharisees who criticized Jesus and murmured, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” The insinuation and implication is that Jesus associates with sinners because he is one of them. In other words, “birds of a feather flock together.”
In response to their accusations, Jesus told three parables. The lost sheep. The lost coin. And the lost son. Indeed these parable are like “a three act play” that present a unifying theme. All three were lost. And all three were diligently sought. And when they were found rejoicing ensued. Continue reading