August 17 – Parables of Jesus – Luke 15

Jesus used parables many times in His teaching.  A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.  The story is fictitious used as an example to help relate a truth to the listener.  You can tell the difference between a parable and a true story, because Jesus never used a person’s name in a parable.  

In today’s reading Jesus uses three parables.  In each case someone loses something dear to them; a shepherd loses one sheep, a woman loses a coin, and a father loses a son.  The shepherd leaves his entire herd to look for one that wandered away.  The woman turns the house upside down searching diligently for her lost coin.  The father enables his son to make mistakes, then stays home and waits for his return.  All three parables end in rejoicing over the sheep, coin, and son being found.  Was it a mistake for the father to give the young son his inheritance knowing he would waste it?  Why didn’t the father go seeking his son?  What can your learn and apply from these parables?