Love’s irresistible attraction

Jesus starts his healing ministry by calling out, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). His urging is valid for everyone and all time. The power behind Jesus’ call is the all-embracing love of God. 

For centuries, Christian theology has focused on the need of humans to change their ways in order to be worthy of God’s grace. Yet this is only one side of the coin. Let’s take a closer look at Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (see Luke 15:11–32), which talks about the unchanging nature of God as much as about the need for human repentance. 

Most interpretations of the parable focus on the actions of the younger brother. He takes his inheritance and leaves, screws up his life, then returns home and is joyfully welcomed back as a son of the house. One may assume that the steadiness of the father’s love for his son is the reason comparatively little attention has been given in Bible commentaries to the father in the parable. He stays at home and stays the same—before, during, and after the younger son’s wanderings. From a literary point of view, there’s not much to talk about.

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Adhere to the whole truth
January 16, 2017

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