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Theology 101, Fall 2012, Paper #2 RE: Luke 15:11-32 (The Return of the Prodigal Son) Dear Pharisee, Jesus used the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 to tell a few home truths about the Kingdom of God. A wealthy man had two sons, one of whom wanted his inheritance in advance…

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The son’s father was overjoyed at this news and immediately accepted his son back into his family. A feast was called for to celebrate the son’s return; however, the older son felt angry at the treatment his younger brother received. To calm the older son’s fears, the father explained that his younger brother was lost and has now been found, giving cause for celebration. The father appreciates his older son just as much as his younger son, but a family member was regained, and this does not take away from the contribution of the older son. This parable is supposed to show just how much God loves his sinful children. The father symbolizes God while the prodigal son symbolizes a sinner who chooses to abandon God. The older son symbolizes someone who shows all the rights actions on the outside but does not truly understand God’s love. The main focus of the parable is on the son’s return and not the many bad choices that he made along the way. At the beginning of the parable, the younger son disrespects his father completely by asking for his inheritance ahead of time. Because of local custom, the younger son would have received one-third, with two-thirds set aside for his older brother. The younger son pursuing this path is like a believer rejecting God and choosing to go their own way. Because the younger son was separated from his father, or a believer is separated from God, he fell into sin because of his greed. ...
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