Joshua 7:1-26; Luke 15:11-32; Psalms 82:1-5; Proverbs 19:27-29
NT: “He also said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate I have coming to me.’ So he distributed the assets to them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered together all he had and traveled to a distant country, where he squandered his estate in foolish living… When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger! I’ll get up, go to my father, and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father told his servants, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet… because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! ’ So they began to celebrate. Now his older son was in the field; as he came near the house, he heard music and dancing… Then he became angry and didn’t want to go in. So his father came out and pleaded with him. But he replied to his father, ‘Look, I have been slaving many years for you, and I have never disobeyed your orders, yet you never gave me a goat so that I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your assets with prostitutes, you slaughtered the fattened calf for him.’ ‘Son,’ he said to him, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”” (Luke 15:11-13, 17-22, 24-25, 28-32 CSB)
The Parable of the prodigal son is a continuation of Jesus addressing the judgmental attitudes of the Pharisees and scribes. They were complaining that Jesus was spending time with the deplorable tax collectors and sinners. He followed up their complaints with the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin, and then the parable of the prodigal son. The parables of the lost sheep and lost coin illustrated the value that the Lord places on all people, and His desire to seek out lost souls and lead them to salvation. The parable of the prodigal son continues by illustrating the Father’s willingness to forgive and be reconciled to those who repent of their sinful ways and return to Him. Notice in the parable, that the Father did not chase after the younger son. The younger son willfully chose to leave the father and chase after his own desires – and the father allowed him to do that. The father was always willing to receive his son back, but it wasn’t until the son repented of his ways and turned back to the father, that the father moved to meet the son. The Lord does seek out lost people, but He doesn’t chase after those who willfully reject Him. But once the sinner repents, the Father welcomes him back with open arms and celebrates his return. The Pharisees and scribes were represented by the unmerciful older brother who cared more about what he had self-righteously earned than the fact that his younger brother was saved from demise. You could say that the Pharisees and scribes were the creators of the cancel culture of their day – not willing to show mercy nor forgiveness to any sinner who repented.