For the past few days I have
been reflecting on the stories
that we explored together last
Sabbath. These stories all had a
recurring theme and application
as Jesus carefully fashioned His
message to impact His listeners.
As we remember, these stories
are the response that Jesus gave
to the criticism of the Pharisees
as the compassionate heart of Jesus was not only available
to sinners, but especially important to them as well.
These stories focused on the value of lost objects or
subjects and, while there were differences, in each
successive story the value of that which was lost
seems to increase. The lost sheep, the lost coin and
the lost son, (or sons) each was important in the context
of a person in the story. And while the sheep
was lost away from home and didn’t know the way
back, and the coin was lost at home but didn’t even
know it was lost, the story of the wise dad captures
our attention in a profound way.
To see the contrast in the lives and attitudes of the
two sons is a remarkable study of selfishness. They
both showed serious disrespect toward their father
and they act out in very different ways. To request an
inheritance before the parent dies is a painful confirmation
that the child does not love the parent. To
stay behind and begrudgingly go through the motions
of life with a sense of selfish duty also misses the
value and importance of the parent. Love was not
the focus of either of the sons, but Love is at the
heart of everything we are told about this dad.
Jesus told these stories to confirm the value of the
lost and the older brother reveals a level of ‘lostness’
that is pretty incredible. To be so lost, even though
he remained at home, is perhaps hard for us to comprehend.
He was just focused doing only what he
had to do and he totally missed out on the blessing of
a relationship with the One who truly demonstrated
During this weekend, Christians around the world will
reflect on the final hours of the life of Jesus. Friday’s
trip to Calvary and death on a cross, then resting on
the Sabbath and the resurrection on Sunday. All of
these together represent the greatest demonstration
of Love in the history of a lost world filled with lost
people. May we open our hearts anew to this Love,
Love that will not let us go!
Pastor Phil, Interim Pastor