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In our Bible lesson today, Jesus told a similar story to show how different people obey what God has called them to do. In Jesus' parable of the two sons, the father asked both sons to go and work in his vineyard. Just as the two boys in my story, one son answered, "No," but went and worked. The other son answered "yes" did not go. In telling the story, Jesus wanted us to realize that what we do is more important than what we say we will do. Jesus wants us to answer, "Yes," when he tells us to "Love one another," but what he really wants is for us to love one another! Jesus wants us to answer, "Yes," when he says,"Follow me," but what he really wants is for us to follow him!

Matthew NIV - The Parable of the Two Sons - “What - Bible Gateway

That's the kind of child I want to be. Isn't it the kind of child you want to be? Father, sometimes we say, "Yes," but our actions say, "No. In Jesus' name we pray.

Yes or No? When dad returned home, he saw John raking leaves. The last time I saw him he was watching TV," John replied. Activities and Resources Worship Bulletin:. Jesus then confounds the listeners' expectations when the younger son is shown to be foolish. The young man's actions do not lead to success, he squanders his inheritance and he eventually becomes an indentured servant, with the degrading job of looking after pigs, and even envying them for the carob pods they eat.

Upon his return, his father treats the young man with a generosity far more than he has a right to expect.

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In the same way, God too. The older son, in contrast, seems to think in terms of "law, merit, and reward", [7] rather than "love and graciousness. The last few verses of the parable summarize the parable in accordance with the Jewish teaching of the two ways of acting: the way of life obedience and the way of death sin.

This is the last of three parables about loss and redemption, following the parable of the Lost Sheep and the parable of the Lost Coin , that Jesus tells after the Pharisees and religious leaders accuse him of welcoming and eating with "sinners. The Eastern Orthodox Church traditionally reads this story on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, [14] which in their liturgical year is the Sunday before Meatfare Sunday and about two weeks before the beginning of Great Lent.

One common kontakion hymn of the occasion reads,. In his apostolic exhortation titled Reconciliatio et paenitentia Latin for Reconciliation and Penance , Pope John Paul II used this parable to explain the process of conversion and reconciliation. Emphasizing that God the Father is "rich in mercy" and always ready to forgive, he stated that reconciliation is a gift on his part.

He stated that for the Church her "mission of reconciliation is the initiative, full of compassionate love and mercy, of that God who is love. Of the thirty or so parables in the canonical Gospels, this was one of the four that were shown in medieval art almost to the exclusion of the others, but not mixed in with the narrative scenes of the Life of Christ the others were the Wise and Foolish Virgins , Dives and Lazarus , and the Good Samaritan.

From the Renaissance the numbers shown widened slightly, and the various scenes — the high living, herding the pigs, and the return — of the Prodigal Son became the clear favourite. Rembrandt depicted several scenes from the parable, especially the final episode, which he etched, drew, or painted on several occasions during his career.

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the theme was a sufficiently popular subject that the Prodigal Son Play can be seen as a subgenre of the English morality play. Many of these adaptations added to the Biblical material to lengthen the story; for example, the film The Prodigal took considerable liberties, such as adding a temptress priestess of Astarte to the tale. Oblique adaptations include that by the Reverend Robert Wilkins , who told the story of this parable in the song "Prodigal Son", which is probably best known as a cover version by the Rolling Stones on their album Beggar's Banquet.

The British heavy metal band Iron Maiden recorded a song titled "Prodigal Son", based on the parable of the same name, which appeared on their second release, Killers , in U2 recorded a song titled "The First Time" on their album Zooropa.

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While based on the parable, it presents the idea of an alternate ending to the story. It could be argued that Kelly Willard 's song, Make Me A Servant is based on what the son said to his father when he returned home. Detroit musician, Kid Rock , also recorded a song titled "Prodigal Son", which appeared on his second album The Polyfuze Method , in Kid Rock later re-recorded the track for his album The History of Rock. The Christian Rock trio BarlowGirl recorded the song "She Walked Away", influenced by the parable, [23] as part of their self-titled album.

UNFORGETTABLE: SOBBING FATHER REUNITES WITH "DEAD" SON

Musician Dustin Kensrue wrote a song about the Prodigal Son entitled "Please Come Home" on the album of the same name released in The band Extreme recorded a song titled "Who Cares? British Reggae band Steel Pulse recorded a song titled "Prodigal Son" on their debut album Handsworth Revolution , recreating the Biblical story as a Rastafarian parable. The Post-Hardcore band "Gideon" released a song called "Prodigal Son", which appeared on their second album Milestone.

Christian rock outfit The Chinese Express opened and closed their release with a two part telling of the parable with songs titled "Said the son to the Father" and "Said the Father to the Son". Post-hardcore band "Jamie's Elsewhere" also released a song titled "Prodigal Son". English indie rock band alt-J references the parable in the first verse of their song "Left Hand Free". On their album Something Different , the Christian band Sidewalk Prophets included an uplifting song titled "Prodigal" with lyrics that are directed towards the Prodigal Son from the parable, or any person who is or has felt like they are in a similar situation.

The song is based on the son's prospective of coming home after he's ruined himself in the world. Another literary tribute to this parable is Dutch theologian Henri Nouwen 's book, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming , in which he describes his own spiritual journey infused with understanding based on an encounter with Rembrandt's painting of the return of the Prodigal and deals with three personages: the younger, prodigal son; the self-righteous , resentful older son; and the compassionate father — all of whom the author identifies with personally.

Rudyard Kipling wrote a poem [27] giving an interpretation of the younger brother's perspective. The Parable of the Prodigal Son is also a recurring theme in the works of Rainer Maria Rilke , who interpreted the parable in a different way to the conventional reading. His version of the parable was not so concerned with redemption and the forgiveness of family; the love of the family, and human love in general, was seen as less worthy than unreciprocated love, which is the purest form of love. In loving the family less, the Son can love God more, even if this love is not returned.


  • Parable of the Prodigal Son.
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A parable of a lost son can also be found in the Mahayana Buddhist Lotus Sutra. In the biblical story, there is an immediate reunion of the two. In contrast, in the Lotus sutra, the poor son does not recognize the rich man as his father. When the father sends out some attendants to welcome the son, the son panics, fearing some kind of retribution.

The father then lets the son leave without telling him of their kinship. However, he gradually draws the son closer to him by employing him in successively higher positions, only to tell him of their kinship in the end.


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Their kinship symbolises that any being has Buddha nature. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. New Testament parable. Several terms redirect here. Retrieved Fleischer and Susan C. Shakespeare Quarterly. Yale French Studies.