Ep 2: The Prodigal Son


The first of the parables we take is
perhaps the most famous of them all: the parable of The Prodigal Son,
taken from the Gospel of Luke where we find so many of the most
memorable parables of Jesus. It’s called ‘The Prodigal Son’ but it could
equally be called ‘The Parable of the Prodigal Father’ because the English word ‘prodigal’
means wasteful or extravagant. Certainly the younger boy is very
extravagant with the money – he takes the money and runs
and wastes it quite spectacularly. But the father is equally extravagant in the
welcome that he offers the boy when the boy finally decides to come home. So it’s a story of extravagance
– in that sense the extravagance of God rather than the extravagance
of the sinful human being. Like all the parables of Jesus it starts
in a very familiar world, a world we know well but then the parable takes us into
a much, much less familiar world a world that in fact is very strange. And the strangeness is the strangeness
of the kingdom of God. So here again the little story seeks
to generate new and deeper insight into what it means to talk about
the Kingdom or the Reign of God.

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