Brit Chadasha Foundations-Concepts in Luke-Chapter 15

Luke 15.1-32 tells us about the grumbling of the Pharisees and scribes from Beit Shammai; the midrashic aggadot of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Merciful Father, also known as the parable of the Prodigal Son. This may have occurred during the time called Teshuvah (Elul1 to Tishri 10) due to the context.

v 1…Now all the tax-gatherers and the sinners (chata’im, whom the Pharisees of Beit Shammai shunned) were coming near him to listen to him (they were sincere).

v 2…And both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble (murmur), saying, “This man receives sinners (there are three categories of people in the Scriptures. The Tzaddikim are the righteous, the Chata’im are the regular sinners, and the Rashim are the desperately wicked) and eats with them.”

v 3…And he told them this parable (midrashic aggadah), saying,

v 4…”What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it (in the parable Yeshua is vindicating his behavior in dealing with the sinners and neglecting the scribes and Pharisees).

v 5…And when he has found it, he lays it upon his shoulders (speaking of security-John 10.27-30), rejoicing.

v 6…And when he comes home (it rode on his shoulders all the way home, it didn’t take one step of its own; we are not required to reach the kingdom home on our own-Jude 24-25), he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’

v 7…I tell you that in the same way, there will be much joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over the ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

v 8…Or what woman, if she has ten (the number of judgment) silver (redemption) coins and loses one coin does not light a lamp (a type of the Torah) and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?

v 9…And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’

v 10…In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Luke 15.11-32 tells us about the concept of Teshuvah (repentance) with a parable some call “The Prodigal Son” and it teaches repentance. This parable is based on Jer 31.1-22 which is read on Rosh Ha Shanah and called “The Merciful (perfect) Father. Eschatologically it is about the return of Ephraim as the “fullness of the nations (Gentiles)” or “M’loh ha Goyim” in Hebrew, as prophesied is Gen 48.19 and Rom 11.25-26.

v 11…And he said, “A certain man (Yehovah) had two sons (Israel/Ephraim and Judah being a type),

v 12…and the younger (Ephraim/Israel) of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them (alludes to the divided kingdom of Israel/Ephraim and Judah after Solomon).

v 13…And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country (Israel/Ephraim went into idolatry-1 Kings 12.16-33, and this led to their exile into Assyria) and there he squandered his estate with loose living.

v 14…Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred (a spiritual famine-Amos 8.11) in that country, and he began to be in need.

v 15…And he went and attached himself to one of the citizens in that country and he sent him into fields to feed swine (Israel/Ephraim lost their identity-2 Pet 2.21-22).

v 16…And he was longing to fill his stomach with the pods (not the true bread) that the swine were eating, and no one was giving him anything to him.

v 17…But when he came to his senses (he had insanity in his heart-Ecc 9.3), he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger.

v 18…I will get up and go to my father (Teshuvah meaning “to return”)m and I will say to him (confession), “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight (Psa 24).

v 19…I am no longer worthy to be called your son (but he still was a son-Jer 31.20); make me as one of your hired men (shows humility, the way to be exalted-Jam 4.6; 1 Pet 5.6).

v 20…and he got up and came to his father (God’s mercy is executed and he acts). But while he was still a long way off (spiritual space does not relate to measurable distance, as in physical space. Near means “similar to” and far means “different, opposite”), his father saw him (Yehovah was watching Israel/Ephraim the whole time-Jer 31.17-19) and felt compassion (mercy is one of the attributes of a perfect father and righteous king0_psa 29.13) for him, and ran (with speedy relief to his distressed son- this will happen at the end of the birth-pains) and embraced him, and kissed him (acknowledging him as his son-Jer 31.20).

v 21…And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven (God) and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son!”

v 22…But the father said to his servants, ‘Quickly bring the best robe and put it on him (alludes to righteousness-Isa 61.10), and put a ring on his hand (the ring is round and it alludes to the fact that Ephraim is a free man eternally), and sandals on his feet (servants did not wear sandals);

v 23…and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and be merry (this alludes to the Marriage Supper in the Messianic Kingdom-Isa 25.6, Matt 8.11; Rom 11.25);

v 24…for this son of mine was dead (Israel/Ephraim was seen as no more) and has come to life again, he was lost (alludes to the ten “lost tribes”) and has been found (God knew where they were).’ And they began to be merry.

v 25…Now his older son (Judah) was in the land (Judah came back after Babylonian exile), and when he came and approached the house (the father’s house, the kingdom) he heard music and dancing.

v 26…And he summoned one of his servants and inquired what these things might be,

v 27…and he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound (healed and forgiven).’

v 28…But he became angry and was not willing to go in, and his father came out and entreated him.

v 29…But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you (Judah maintained the covenant after the fall of the first Temple) and I have never neglected a command of yours (Judah did stay closer to the Torah); and yet you have never given me a kid that I might be merry with my friends (they weren’t the sinners and reprobates of his brother; but this feast was not given to honor the returning son, who had no behavior to honor; the feast was given to express the father’s joy at the confession of his son’s sins, and his restoration into the father’s house);

v 30…but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with harlots (spiritual adultery) you killed the fattened calf for him.’

v 31…And he said to him, “Child, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours (so there was no real occasion for such a restoration, and your inheritance is intact).

v 32…But we had to be merry and rejoice (to express such joy in his return), for this brother of yours was dead (lifeless among the nations), and has begun to live (is now alive with a new nature), and was lost and has been found (this goes back to the joy expressed in finding the lost sheep and coin in Luke 15.4-10).”

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Tying into the New Testament

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