HOW PRECIOUS YOU ARE IN HIS SIGHT,
OR, ARE YOU WASTING YOUR GIFTS FROM GOD?
(Luke 15:7&10) I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (Luke 15:10) Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
Commentary: There exists a definite relationship between the story of the wild man of the Gadarenes who was inhabited by Legion (Luke 8:26-39), the narrative of which deals with the remembrance of past sins to the extreme point of dwelling within the recalled imaginations of those sins, and the story of the lost son (Luke 15:11-24), the narrative of which deals with our present sins. Past sins and present sins, both of which, if they remain unforgiven, are deadly insurmountable obstacles to fellowship and communion with God.
THE LOST SON
(Luke 15:11-13) And he said, A certain man [a type of Father God] had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me [i.e., my inheritance]. And he divided unto them his living [Gk: the present state of existence; by impl. the means of livelihood]. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country [rather like leaving The Garden of Eden, the dwelling place of his Father, and entering into the world], and there wasted his substance with riotous living [“which hath devoured thy living with harlots” Luke 15:30].
1. wasted = Gk: to dissipate, i.e. (gen.) to rout or separate; spec. to winnow; fig. to squander:--disperse, scatter (abroad), strew, waste.
2. substance = Gk: property (possessions):--goods.
3. riotous = Gk: dissolutely /// unsavedness, i.e. profligacy:--excess, riot. [wine, women and song]
4. Commentary: We may note that the Father gave his son (being the younger) a third of his substance or goods, and that this substance or goods is presented as being physical, in effect either money or goods easily convertible into money. However, has Father God really given us money? Does not the true “substance” of Father God consist in that which He has given to us of Himself? Would you rather have $1,000,000 in gold or God? A limited itemization of Father God’s wonderful “substance” that He has given to us may be counted as love, discernment, intelligence, morality, common sense, health, myriad talents and abilities, differing degrees of excellence, and His Spirit, and His Word. Thus, one interpretation of this narrative follows the well-known physical path, and another interpretation follows the symbolic spiritual path.
(Luke 15:14-16) And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want [Gk: destitute, suffer need]. And he went and joined [Gk: to stick: cleave] himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine [pigs, unclean animals]. And he would fain [Gk: to put the mind upon] [i.e., thought about] have filled [“longed to fill” NIV; “would gladly have fed on and filled” Amplified Bible] his belly with the husks [empty seed-pods] that the swine did eat [why didn’t he eat?]: and no man gave unto him.
(Luke 15:17-19) And when he came to himself [“and in his right mind” Mark 5:15; Luke 8:35], he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father [The road to hell is paved with good intentions], and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
(Luke 15:20-24) And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
LAW AND GRACE
(Luke 15:25-27) Now his elder son [Law] was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants [angels], and asked what these things meant. And he said unto him, Thy [younger] brother [Grace] is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
(Luke 15:28-30) And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. 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: But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
(Luke 15:31,32) And he said unto him, Son [Law], thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 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.
THE ROAD NOT TAKEN
by Robert Frost 1874-1963
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth,
The took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.