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Luke 15:11-32

Luke 15:11-32


I. Background

(Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”)

II. Theology of the parable

1. In Jesus’ eating with tax collectors and sinners, God was at work offering his kingdom to sinners and undeserving people

2. God accepts all repentant sinners, no matter how sinful and undeserving they may be

3. (Fathers are the most misunderstood and sidelined persons in families around the world. Everyone expects father to be superhuman, but they seldom recognize that fathers are fallen and broken people.)

4. (Though we do not have an ideal human father in the Scripture, Jesus paints the portrait of a Kingdom father in Luke 15:11-32)

5. (This portrait of a father becomes a reality only when Jesus brings Kingdom in to a father’s life, because a father on his own does not have any inherent goodness in him)

III. A few highlights about the “father” in the story

1. A leader who is in command of the family unit (Makes decisions unlike Adam and Abraham. The father is in command. What we see now is either domineering or absent)

2. Not overbearing or dictatorial (My way or no way! Individuality of others is completed ignored)

3. Compassionate (absence of grudge, felt great pity for him. To be compassionate is not feminine but it is divine) (15:20)

4. Initiator of restoration from estrangement (cf. Exodus 20:12 fifth Commandment)

(a) Ran (15:20)
(b) Hugged (15:20 “he fell on his neck”)
(c) Kissed (15:20 to show acceptance)
(d) Gives new robe, ring, shoes (15:22)
(e) Fattened calf, eating, and celebration (15:24)

5. Accepts a failed member of the family by not criticizing the person
6. Accepts the one who rejected him
7. Gracious— a willingness to reach down with affection the one who did not deserve it
8. But, is firm with his elder son (disapproves his behavior; willing to do the difficult job)

IV. Take Away

Fathers, Let the “Kingdom of God” (reign of God) influence your role as a father by putting yourself completely under Jesus

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at