often opposed to Jesus b/c he found their traditions & teachings inadequate;
were “lovers of money” [16.14])
complained that Jesus was a man of loose morals:
“This man receives sinners and eats with them” (15.2)
tax collectors & sinners
against the conversion ( redemption) of Gentiles?
Jesus’ response =
Parable of the Lost Sheep (15.3-7),
Parable of the Lost Coin (15.8-10), and
Parable of the Prodigal Son
followed by the Parable of the Dishonest Manager
16.10 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Gospel of Luke, book of Acts of the Apostles (sequel) often called Luke-Acts, as 1 book
Gentile Christian (only one as writer in NT)
non-Christian, but familiar w/Jewish customs, OT Greek
companion of the Apostle Paul (witnessed Paul’s many arrests, beatings)
Christians tolerated as Jewish sect; AD 64 Rome fire, Nero blames Christians, Christianity & Judaism seen as 2 distinct religions, Christianity = new religion = illegal persecutions, despised, seen as superstition (esp. in foreign lands)
1st great Christian apologia = Gospel of Luke & Acts of the Apostles
a Defense of Christianity (legal defense)
historian , medical doctor by profession (maybe)
attention to detail, recording events & dates
scientific, orderly approach
carefully researched events
“eyewitnesses and servants of the word” (1:2)
interviews & preachings of the apostles
(close with Paul)
“painter in words”
most literary of the Gospels
Book of Luke
@ AD 60 (written in Rome?)
one of the 3 “Synoptic Gospels” (Matthew, Mark and Luke)
a defense of Christianity
supported by address to Roman official, Theophilus
only NT book meant for an audience outside the Christian community
18 Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.
29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
Jules: Hey, sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie, but I'd never know 'cause I wouldn't eat the filthy motherf***er. Pigs sleep and root in sh*t. That's a filthy animal. I ain't eat nothin' that ain't got sense enough to disregard its own feces.
Vincent: How about a dog? Dogs eats its own feces.
Jules: I don't eat dog either.
Vincent: Yeah, but do you consider a dog to be a filthy animal?
Jules: I wouldn't go so far as to call a dog filthy but they're definitely dirty. But, a dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way.
Vincent: Ah, so by that rationale, if a pig had a better personality, he would cease to be a filthy animal. Is that true?
Jules: Well we'd have to be talkin' about one charming motherf***in' pig. I mean he'd have to be ten times more charmin' than that Arnold on Green Acres, you know what I'm sayin'?
Prodigal = humanity (with free will, fall & redemption)
Father = God
Elder = Pharisees & teachers who resented the conversions of the Gentiles (sinners)
Elder in field = Pharisees’ distance/remoteness from God’s grace
Prodigal = Gentiles, wandered in illusions, served the devil, tended to demons
Swine owners = Devil
Swine = demons
Husks (eaten by pigs) = vices (which cannot satisfy) & pagan literature (cannot satisfy)
Father’s going to meet Prodigal = the Incarnation
Father’s falling on Prodigal’s neck = the gentle yoke of Christ (Matthew 11.29-30)
Music (heard by Elder) = praise of God
Feast of fatted calf = Eucharist
Aristotle: “‘Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its katharsis of such emotions.[ . . .] Every Tragedy, therefore, must have six parts, which parts determine its quality—namely, Plot, Characters, Diction, Thought, Spectacle, Melody.’”
change in fortune, fall from grace, tragic flaw/error
(BUT tragic flaw = usually NOT a vice, as the Prodigal Son’s is)
Queer Theory (Elder Son as gay, b/c not married, at home)
“POWDER”: new snow, covers old tracks/sins, fresh start
“Clod & Pebble”
does good to get noticed, appreciated
not virtue for virtue’s sake BUT for some reward
do good not b/c it’s the right thing to do but b/c it gets a reward, attention
a Shakespeare’s Sonnet XXIX
When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
I all alone beweep my outcast state,
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself, and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts my self almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love remembered such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
ctions, duty without heart
see “Say Yes”
“Prodigal Son”: written by Reverend Robert Wilkins (a blues singer turned preacher) & recorded by the Rolling Stones on Beggars Banquet (1968).
Well a poor boy took his father's bread and started down the road
Started down the road
Took all he had and started down the road
Going out in this world, where God only knows
And that'll be the way to get along
Well poor boy spent all he had, famine come in the land
Famine come in the land
Spent all he had and famine come in the land
Said, "I believe I'll go and hire me to some man"
And that'll be the way I'll get along
Well, man said, "I'll give you a job for to feed my swine
the elder son reveals the theme of envy, self-conceit, legalism and the theme of the necessity for mutual, brotherly forgiveness.
The younger, prodigal son is a symbol of all fallen mankind, and, at the same time, of each individual sinner. The portion of goods that falleth to him, that is, the younger son's share of the property - these are God's gifts, with which each man is endowed. According to the explanation of Bishop Ignatius Brianchaninov, these are "…the mind and heart, and especially the grace of the Holy Spirit, given to each Christian. The demand made of the father for the portion of goods falling to the son in order to use it arbitrarily is the striving of man to thrown off from himself submissiveness to God and to follow his own thoughts and desires. In the father's consent to hand over the property there is depicted the absolute authority with which God has honored man in the use of God's gifts".
Repentance is the third theme. Nowhere better does the Gospel disclose to us what the essence of repentance is, than, namely, in the parable of the Prodigal Son. It reveals to us the gradual, inner process of the sinner's turnabout and the fullness of repentance, which consists of consciousness of one's fall, sincere remorse and turning humbly to the Heavenly Father. (http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/parables/e_Par_2_11.htm)
The Parable of the Prodigal Son – The Meaning
The parable of the prodigal son is one of the most well-known stories of Jesus. It is more commonly referred to as the story of the prodigal son, though the word prodigal is not found in Scripture. To characterize the son as “lost” emphasizes that sinners are alienated from God; to characterize the son as “prodigal” casts an emphasis on a wayward lifestyle. In truth, this particular parable has many points to bring out concerning the nature of man and God.
The word prodigal may be defined as “rashly or wastefully extravagant”; the son in the story exhibited this behavior with his handling of his share of his father’s estate. Having prematurely gotten hold of his inheritance from the father he “squandered his wealth in wild living” then, “began to be in need.” The natural state of unregenerate mankind is always toward lust and greed and extravagance of all kinds; without God we squander our resources and energies until we are void and empty. When the younger son found himself in this state, he remained in the far country working in a contemptible job and willing to eat the food he was feeding to the pigs which were under his care. When we remain in a place of alienation from God, we descend into futility, darkness, and humiliation.
The parable of the prodigal son indicates, however, that we do have the opportunity to make a change; we do not have to stay in our hopeless state; we can come to ourselves. The lost son realized that in his father’s house there was sustenance for him; he humbled himself, willing, if necessary, to be his father’s servant, and started back home. This turning in our lives is the first indication of God’s love for us. Even recognizing our sinful, hopeless state is initiated in us by God, Himself. “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:4).
The parable of the prodigal son makes it obvious that God was at work. That he was able to see the younger son when he was still a long way off means that the father was watching for his son, waiting for him, longing for him. The father runs to him, embraces him, loves him and gives him gifts; he seems totally oblivious to the fact that his son has disrespected him, acted outrageously, and lost everything. The father lavishes upon him, celebrates over him. This is a wonderful picture of the great love of God towards us. He seeks after us, reaches out to us. When we come to Him, He washes away all our evil deeds of the past, not holding them against us. “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
The parable of the prodigal son also shows the attitude of the self-righteous sinner, pictured by the older son. He quarreled with his father that the younger son had messed up and yet the father had prepared for him the “fatted calf.” Because he considered himself better than the younger son, he could not share in the father’s joy. “My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” The older son’s hardness of heart made him unaware of the riches available to him in his father’s house. This son complained that he had “slaved all these years.” He had no more love for the father than the younger son; nor did he avail himself of all the good things the father freely provided for him at all times. Both sin and self-righteousness separate us from God. We all require God’s grace, His unearned, unmerited love for us. The father went out to the disgruntled older son. God is He who always continues to seek after us, regardless of the state we are in.
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1667-1670)
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Rembrandt (1668)
The Prodigal starring Lana Turner, Edmund Purdom (1955, dir. Richard Thorpe)
One critic has noted that The Prodigal was aptly titled, inasmuch as it was all too prodigal with the funds of the then-flagging MGM studios. In its retelling of the 22-verse Biblical story of the Prodigal Son, the film helpfully fills in the story details inconsiderately left out of the Old Testament [sic]. Edmond Purdon plays Micah, the wastrel son of Eli (Walter Hampden) who takes his share of his father's fortune and blows it all in wicked old Damascus. Micah's one redeeming feature is his unserving faithful in the Lord God Jehovah. Pagan princess Samarra (Lana Turner at her most giddily exotic) intends to seduce Micah into renouncing his faith, only to get stoned to death for her troubles. Nearly two hours pass before Micah returns home and the fatted calf is killed in his honor. If for nothing else, The Prodigal would be memorable for Lana Turner's pagan-ritual costume, which is little more than a glorified bikini. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide