Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 15:10-24

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Luke 15:10

An application of the parable's second part. joy. See note on v. 7.

Luke 15:12

portion of the wealth. That which the sons would have inherited. The son's request was shockingly disrespectful. It implied that he wished the father's death so he could receive his inheritance (Num. 27:8-11). The younger son loved wealth more than his father. divided. The father had every right to refuse the son's shameful request. However, he complied. As the younger son, he would have received half of the older sons' inheritance (Deut. 21:17). Perhaps less if the father had daughters in need of dowries.

Luke 15:13

gathered together. The young man converted his inheritance to cash so he could more easily spend it. far away. A sign of the son's alienation from his father and upbringing. wasted. The fortune was spent on sinful living.

Luke 15:14-15

The son's situation worsened. He was away from home, without money or friends, and was forced to work. Yet, even the work he gained was with animals considered unclean by the Law (Lev. 11:7; Deut. 14:8).

Luke 15:16

The young man makes so little at his job that he cannot even afford to buy food for himself. carob pods. Likely seed pods or fruit from a local carob tree which was often used as fodder for pigs and donkeys. For a Jew, longing for pig food signaled the ruination of the man's life (see note on vv. 14-15).

Luke 15:17-19

See WLC 76, 185.

Luke 15:17

In contrast to the situation he is in, the son remembered how generous his father was with his servants.

Luke 15:18-19

The son wanted to confess his sin to his father in two ways. First, he wanted to repent and acknowledge that his sin against God in heaven and his father. Second, he wanted to ask for mercy. He didn't seek the restoration of his place in the family, but simply to be hired as a servant. He knew that even as a servant, he would be treated well (v. 17). heaven . . . your sight. The order is significant. All sin is primarily against God before anyone else (Ps. 51:4). This was true for the son's disrespect of his father (Exod. 20:12).

Luke 15:20-24

See HC 85.

Luke 15:20

The father's response was unexpected. far away . . . father saw. This suggested that that the father was actively looking for the son to return. compassion. Extended to the son before he heard any confession or repentance (vv. 18-19, 21; 7:13; 10:33). ran. A total break with social norms. Running was unheard of in that day for someone older and well-respected. hugged . . . kissed. Open signs of affection and reconciliation (see Gen. 33:4).

Luke 15:21

The son began his planned confession (vv. 18-19). But was interrupted by the joyful, forgiving father (v. 22). heaven . . . your sight. See note on vv. 18-19.

Luke 15:22

best robe . . . ring. Symbols of wealth and acceptance. The ring may have contained a seal which would have shown his sonship. The father desires the full reclamation of his wayward son. sandals. Servants often went barefoot.

Luke 15:23

Meat was not eaten at every meal in the biblical culture. It was saved for special occasions (v. 24).

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