An Allegiance to Grace.
This past Sunday, our pastor gave such an amazing message that really challenged me. His sermon was out of Luke 15 and he was speaking on the parable of the prodigal son.
There are so many messages out there about this parable. Our pastor pointed out that this was the finale in a series of three parables. The first being about a shepherd that lost 1 sheep out of his 100 that he was tending. The shepherd leaves the 99 to find the 1. When he finds the sheep, he calls his friends and neighbors together and rejoices.
The second Jesus tells about a woman that lost 1 coin of her 10. She does not sleep until she finds it. When she finds it she rejoices with friends and neighbors.
The third parable Jesus speaks of a son that takes his inheritance, leaves his father’s house and wastes his inheritance on frivolous living. When the son realizes after eating pig slop that even his father’s servants do better than what he was doing, he returns home to beg his father to be a servant in his house. The father sees the son from a far and runs to him. The father puts his identifier on him (a ring) and puts a robe on him and returns him to his house and rejoices with a feast in his son’s honor.
There are so many truths that can be pulled from these parables, however Jesus communicated 3 parables to cover different demographics. There were women, shepherds, dignitaries all in this crowd. Jesus speaks to them all.
While most focus on the the prodigal son or even the other brother, in light of the other two parables the focus is really on the response of the one who lost and found. The shepherd, the woman, the father… they all rejoiced. What kind of shepherd loses a sheep? That’s why he left the others to find the one. If a single woman of that time who wore a representation of her dowry around her neck in ten silver pieces, lost one of those pieces… how would she be perceived? If a father gave half of his fortune to a wayward son, how would people see him?
You see, two of these parables setup the knock out punch in the 3rd. The first two are common answered “of course” scenarios, the third is not. However Jesus shows that this father abandons popular perception and pursues grace. He runs to his son whom he sees from afar. While others might look on and say “I can’t believe he would do that”, the father’s only allegiance is to grace.
How do we see those around us? Maybe there is a friend that constantly lets you down. Maybe there is a family member that you constantly say “I wish they are around more” or “what a waste”. Jesus has not done that with us. When we leave the pig slop and return, he RUNS to us with an allegiance to grace. Let’s run to others the same way!