(Luke 15:1 NASB) Now all the tax-gatherers and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.
(Luke 15:2 NASB) And both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
Luke 15:2: Why did Yeshua spend His time with tax-gatherers and other sinners? He knows that if a man turns away from his sin, he will save his life (Ezek. 18:27-31, 33:9-11). Yeshua came to save those that are His. That is exactly what He is doing.
(Luke 15:3 NASB) And He told them this parable, saying,
(Luke 15:4 NASB) “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it?
(Luke 15:5 NASB) “And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
(Luke 15:6 NASB) “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
Luke 15:6: Notice that Yeshua did not say they celebrated by killing the fatted lamb… Yeshua uses this parable of sheep because that that same example is used in the Tanakh (Psalm 119:176, Isa. 40:10-11, Micah 5:4).
(Luke 15:7 NASB) “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Luke 15:7: It gives Elohim great pleasure when a man turns from his sin and turns toward His Torah (Ezek. 18:21-23).
(Luke 15:8 NASB) “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?
(Luke 15:9 NASB) “And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’
(Luke 15:10 NASB) “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:10: Elohim searches out His lost ones in the same way this woman will search for the lost coin (Ezek. 34:12-17). Once again, Elohim takes great pleasure in the wicked turning from their evil ways and to His Torah (Isa. 55:6-7).
(Luke 15:11 NASB) And He said, “A certain man had two sons;
Luke 15:11: The “certain man” is Elohim. That is consistent in the parables.
We all know the account of the prodigal son. It is following the short parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin which speak of the Father bringing back His people. However, this parable gives much greater detail and appears to be telling us more than the previous two. The theme is the same, but now we are given more details in a parable form.
With that in mind, I am going to state that this parable is describing the return of the two houses of Israel to Him. The two sons are the southern kingdom of Judah and the northern kingdom of Ephraim.
(Luke 15:12 NASB) and the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ And he divided his wealth between them.
Luke 15:12: According to Torah, the oldest son would get two-thirds and the younger son one-third (Deut. 21:17). However, the amount that is divided is not given here. We are not told the amounts.
What would be the wealth that Elohim gave to His sons? That would be His Torah (Psalm 19:7-10, 119:14, 72, 127, Prov. 8:11).
(Luke 15:13 NASB) “And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.
Luke 15:13: Ephraim was taken to far countries and scattered all over the world. He squandered his wealth by disregarding the Torah of His Father in strange lands.
(Luke 15:14 NASB) “Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be in need.
(Luke 15:15 NASB) “And he went and attached himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
(Luke 15:16 NASB) “And he was longing to fill his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him.
Luke 15:16: The youngest is a picture of Ephraim. They totally disregarded the Torah of Elohim and literally lived with, and ate with, and ate, the pigs. The pigs are essentially the Gentiles. Ephraim was treated lower than the Gentiles. Because they have rejected the Torah of Elohim, He has brought them low (Hosea 5:5, 9).
(Luke 15:17 NASB) “But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!
Luke 15:17: There is a time when Ephraim “came to his senses.” He is hungering for the Word of His Father. He turns back to Him (Jer. 31:18-20).
(Luke 15:18 NASB) ‘I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight;
(Luke 15:19 NASB) I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”‘
(Luke 15:20 NASB) “And he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him.
(Luke 15:21 NASB) “And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
Luke 15:21: Ephraim will turn back to Elohim in repentance (Jer. 31:6-14).
(Luke 15:22 NASB) “But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet;
(Luke 15:23 NASB) and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and be merry;
(Luke 15:24 NASB) for this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ And they began to be merry.
Luke 15:24: Ephraim is the lost son who was dead in his trespasses and sins (Romans 6:11-13). He has returned and the Father is throwing a feast in celebration (Isaiah 25:6-9, Rev. 19:7-9).
(Luke 15:25 NASB) “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.
(Luke 15:26 NASB) “And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things might be.
Luke 15:26: The older son is not in the Father’s house either. He is in the fields (world), but he was not as far away as was his brother. He wants to know what the celebration is all about.
(Luke 15:27 NASB) “And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’
(Luke 15:28 NASB) “But he became angry, and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began entreating him.
(Luke 15:29 NASB) “But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you, and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a kid, that I might be merry with my friends;
Luke 15:29: Judah had not wandered as far from the Father’s Torah as had Ephraim. But for Ephraim to share in the wealth of the Father will seem like, to them, that they wasted their time (Mal. 3:14) To this day Judah considers themselves to be the Father’s only son. They have a form of righteousness, but it is not the righteousness the Father wants of them (Isaiah 58:2-8).
(Luke 15:30 NASB) but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with harlots, you killed the fattened calf for him.’
(Luke 15:31 NASB) “And he said to him, ‘My child, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.
(Luke 15:32 NASB) ‘But we had to be merry and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.'”
Luke 15:32: Ephraim had devoured his wealth with harlots (being false gods). They will reject the worthless idols and traditions they had learned for generations and will return to the Father (Jer. 16:19).
Elohim has never rejected His people (Romans 11:1-2). The Father encourages His older son to rejoice with Him because His brother was dead in his trespasses and sins is now alive.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas