By Elizabeth Prata
I read one of Chapel Library’s free literature pieces, AW Pink’s The Prodigal Son. Chapel Library is a ministry at Mt. Zion Bible Church in Florida, where you can download any of their hundreds of pieces of classic Christian Literature, for free. Or, you can request that the Library print it out in booklet form, and they will send it to you for free! You can order up to $20 per month in materials. (After that, you pay).
Anyway, it was a gem of a 32 page booklet filled with lots of insights I’d never thought of before. What a lot of truth Pink packed into 35 pages! He focused on the prodigal rather than the other son, though he did mention the other son at the end. If you bear with me to read of 2 nuggets I found fascinating:
The Prodigal returned to the Father. We know the Father is representing Christ in this parable. Imagine the Jews surrounding Jesus as He relates the parable. They know the Pentateuch. Now, when the Prodigal approaches the Father after his disastrous sojourn into the world, that rebellious and awfully disobedient son, the Jews must have figured what Jesus would say next. Why? Look what the Pentateuch says what happens to disobedient sons:
A Rebellious Son
18“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them, 19then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives, 20and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ 21Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.
Jesus’s hearers who knew the Pentateuch must have been thinking, ‘Yah, that son is gonna get it now!” but what did the son receive? Grace! He wasn’t stoned! He was celebrated, loved, kissed!! It must have been SHOCKING.
Also note that the rebellious son ‘went into’ the Father’s house, but the other son never did ‘go into the house.’ He actually refused to go ‘into the house’.
Secondly, when the Father saw the rebellious son approaching him ‘from afar off’, what did the Father do? We all know he “ran”. We’ve all heard sermons about how it was unusual for a stately Jewish Father to run anywhere, especially since he’d have to hike up his tunic. But this Father, representing God in the parable, ran. This is the only time in the entire Bible God is depicted as hurrying. God laughs, He passes His hand over, He orderly renews the earth, but running? Hurrying?
The only time the Bible shows God hurrying is to receive sinners!
What a great, GREAT God we have!