The Prodigal God


We’ve just started Tim Keller’s Prodigal God study series with a group from church. If you haven’t seen it, it is a series of studies that go with Keller’s book on the parable of the prodigal son.

Overall I’m really happy with the format and content of the course. Keller has a particular focus on the older son which I think is the actual focus of the parable, and very pastorally helpful in a church situation.

I do however have one question about Keller’s exegesis of the parable. He suggests that Jesus not only intended the older brother to be a rebuke to the self righteous Pharisees, he also intended him to point people to a ‘true’ older brother who would go and look for the younger brother and bring him home ie. as a pointer to the ministry of Jesus himself. It’s a very nice idea, but I just can’t see this what Jesus originally intended when he told the parable

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2 Responses to The Prodigal God

  1. Laetitia says:

    Personally, I think the point of the parable is The Ideal Father and how he deals with us whether we are lost sheep or self-righteous sheep. It’s in a series of parables of how God searches for us.

  2. apricho says:

    Yes, you’re certainly right about the series Laetitia. The point Tim Keller makes is that the older brother particularly stands out in the series – Lost sheep, lost coin, lost son…Self righteous son. The other significant thing about the self righteous son is that it’s ambiguous wether he ever joins the feast – so is he found or not? So I think the series of parables not just to teach about God’s loving character in general, but to teach it to self righteous people who think they’re right with God but have completely missed what he is really like.

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