Not by worth but by birth.

We all have heard the story of the prodigal son dozens of times.  Our elders/pastors always focus on how dumb the son was and how terrible his sin was. But what strikes me the most in Luke chapter 15 is "Heart of Good Daddy". 

Luke 15:24 Because this son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to revel {and} feast {and} make merry.

We all know this story. Don’t we? We all have heard the story of the prodigal son dozens of times.  Our elders/pastors always focus on how dumb the son was and how terrible his sin was. But what strikes me the most in Luke chapter 15 is “Heart of Good Daddy”. Luke 15 is a chapter that shows God’s love and His Grace towards “bad people/bad society/worst people.” We have three beautiful parables in the passage and I understand that the reason why these parables were spoken by Jesus is because of Luke 15:1,2,3

Now all the tax collectors and sinners [including non-observant Jews] were coming near Jesus to listen to Him. Both the Pharisees and the scribes began muttering and complaining, saying, “This man accepts and welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So He told them this parable.

So the reason why these parables are mentioned is because people were complaining that Jesus were hanging out with bad people, criminals, people whom the society calls “thugs”, “prostitutes”, “drug addicts”. So what I understand is that the three parables mentioned in Luke 15 are the explanation of why Jesus put on skins and bones and befriended the sinful people.
So Jesus begins with telling about a crazy shepherd who is just so bad at mathematics, who just leaves 99 of His sheep in the desert, and goes in search of 1 lost one. And when He finds it, He carries that sheep on His shoulders and throws a big party in celebration of finding back His sheep. I mean what is the shepherd doing? How irresponsible of Him? He left 99 for 1? If it was me, I would let go of that 1 sheep and look after the 99. Would you not do the same?

And while we stay confused about the first parable, Jesus goes ahead and starts with His second parable. A woman who has got 10 coins and then she loses 1 coin out of those 10. And we again see that the woman mentioned in the story is going so crazy that she is literally turning her house upside down while searching for that one lost coin. And when she finds that one coin she just throws a party which is 100 times more costly than that 1 lost coin. Lady you need some help! I mean what’s wrong with these people?
And then He goes on to talk about the father who had 2 sons. And the younger son who is totally a spoilt brat, so rebellious, totally self serving comes back to become an “hired employee” under his father. But what surprises me is that even though we all title this story as “the prodigal son”, I would say this story is more about a gracious Father than a rebellious son. 

IT IS A STORY MORE ABOUT LOVE THAN MORE ABOUT SIN.

Yes, the son wasted everything with all that He had. Well, that’s not the end of the story. The story continues about a Father who restored His son with all that He had.

Take a look at the first two stories. What did the sheep do to be found? “He/She” didn’t do anything. If anything, I believe the sheep must have ran farther away. What about the coin friends? What did the coin do to be found by her owner? Nothing. Most of the sermons we hear seems like the “sheep”, the “coin” and the “son”, they all earned their forgiveness because they were sorry for what they did. Tell me one instance where they feel sorry for their doing? No. Nobody did anything to be found/forgiven.
I know you all must be talking about his repentance speech in Luke 15: 17-20 – But when he [finally]came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough food, while I am dying here of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer WORTHY to be called your son; [just] treat me like one of your hired men.”So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 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.’

Friends! I have a trouble with His speech here. You see the motivation of His speech is not from his heart. It is not sincere. It’s hunger for food that motivates him to think about His dad. (Roti, Kapda, Makaan) And now that he has decided to go to his daddy, he feels he got have something to say to convince him and take him back.
Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] treat me like one of your hired men.”
Wait now here is where I again have a problem with his speech. What does he mean when he says, “I am no longer worthy”? I mean, when was he ever worthy to be his father’s son?
I am the second son to my father. If I were to go to my Dad one day and say, “Daddy, finally today I feel I am worthy to be your son”. I am sure my daddy will be ticked. I am his son. He’d do anything for me. It has never been about how good or how bad I was to him. Fathers are already pleased with their sons/daughters because they are loved by the Father based on who they are and not what they do.

Being a son or a daughter has nothing to do with worth. Just go and ask your parents this same question.

We are the sons and daughters of God by birth and not by worth. And that’s why bible tells us to be born again.

Your heavenly Father is pleased with you because you are His Son/Daughter in Christ.

Show me one single baby child in this planet who is born out of his/her efforts. Have you ever heard any doctor talk to the baby inside the mother saying, “Come on kid! Try harder! It all depends on you!” No! It’s the other way round. It is the mother who does the hard work to bring the baby out.

Likewise spiritual birth happens by Grace when we believe.

Ephesians 2:8,9 – “For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favour drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation].

Believe what? Simply that, Jesus came for you 2015 years ago. He paid for your sins when He died. And that He rose again to grant us the access to the Heavenly life.

His life became available to us. Being a child of God has nothing to do with what you do or what you cannot do. It totally depends on what He has DONE 2015 years ago. Our faith is in Him, not in ourselves.

IT IS NOT BY WORTH BUT BY BIRTH ALONE!

2 responses to “Not by worth but by birth.”

  1. Ephesians 2:8,9 Vs. Luke 15:17-20

    A.“For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favour drawing you to Christ]
    [Is it the understanding of the prodigal son (sinners) about his Father (God) and His home (comforts) drawn him back to the Christ (=Father =God)?
    B. that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith.
    a. What does it mean by “through faith (of the prodigal son?”
    i) You may argue that the faith is given by the Father. But the prodigal son’s story does not agree that argument. Even if we take it for argument sake the rest of the Gospel disprove it.
    Let me tell you the why (with my limited knowledge):
    1. The Gospel offer Salvation to whole world [John3:16]
    2. If faith to believe in Christ (going back to prodigal son’s home) is given by God, then it should be given to the whole humanity- not to only selected prodigals.
    3. Even if we try to accept the “selection”, what is God’s (Father’s) standard to select the prodigals from among the prodigals of the world ( whole world are His children) to give them faith to believe(come back home) in His salvation.
    C.And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort],
    [Fully Agree]
    D.but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law],
    [Fully Agree]
    E. so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation].
    [Fully Agree].
    To me the prodigal son’s story is very simple to understand. It reveals who my Heavenly Father is. It encourage me to go back to Him. For that I need to exercise the inbuilt (in all human beings) faith in me. If I do not exercise the faith I cannot blame on the judgment day that I got the opportunity to believe in Him in several ways as it is explained in the first three chapters of Romans and elsewhere. It reminds me of my Father and His Home. Yes indeed my crave is for “Roti, Kapda and Makkan”- but is not physical. It is mere spiritual. If you take only that part of the story in the “literal meaning”, then you are giving a wrong interpretation of the passage.

  2. Ashish Thomas says:

    Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Paul did not say that he lived by faith IN the Son of God but by the faith OF the Son of God. The measure of faith that Paul had was the same measure that Jesus had. It was Jesus’ faith.

    If there is only one measure of faith (Romans 12:3), then we also have the faith of Jesus. So my argument would be like this, faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of Christ. Romans 10:17. We access God’s faith through His Word. In the case of prodigal son, he already knew he was His father’s son. He did not need faith to become His father’s child, but He needed Faith to get up and run back to His Home. Even that faith came because He remembered about His father’s house. He did not develop that faith. He did not struggle for it. My faith is dependent on what I see, touch, smell, hear or feel. But His faith sees what He sees. That is why even the faith to accept Him comes from Him. My faith is not stable. But His faith is.

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