Lent 4 Series B
31 March 2019
Collects for Lent 4: Almighty God, our heavenly Father, Your mercies are new every morning; and though we deserve only punishment, You receive us as Your children, and provide for all our needs of body and soul. Grant that we may heartily acknowledge Your merciful goodness, give thanks for all Your benefits, and serve You in willing obedience; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
2 Corinthians 5:16–21
Luke 15:1–3, 11–32
Jesus Christ Has Reconciled Us to the Father
God the Father has opened His heart to us in love. While we were “still a long way off,” He saw us and “felt compassion” (Luke 15:20). Therefore, He gave His only-begotten Son for us, making “him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). By the ministry of reconciliation, He runs to us, embraces us in mercy and clothes us with His glory as beloved sons in Christ Jesus. And so we give thanks unto the Lord our God, who has taken away our sins and turned His anger from us (Isaiah 12:1). Because He has become our salvation, our strength and our song, we “will trust, and will not be afraid” (Isaiah 12:2).
Prologue to the Parable of the Lost Sheep/Sons
Ἦσαν δὲ αὐτῷ ἐγγίζοντες πάντες οἱ τελῶναι καὶ οἱ ἁμαρτωλοὶ ἀκούειν αὐτοῦ.
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
καὶ διεγόγγυζον οἵ τε Φαρισαῖοι καὶ οἱ γραμματεῖς λέγοντες ὅτι Οὗτος ἁμαρτωλοὺς προσδέχεται καὶ συνεσθίει αὐτοῖς.
And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
εἶπεν δὲ πρὸς αὐτοὺς τὴν παραβολὴν ταύτην λέγων•
So he told them this parable:
The Parable of the Waiting Father
Εἶπεν δέ• Ἄνθρωπός τις εἶχεν δύο υἱούς.
And he said, “There was a man who had two sons.
καὶ εἶπεν ὁ νεώτερος αὐτῶν τῷ πατρί• Πάτερ, δός μοι τὸ ἐπιβάλλον μέρος τῆς οὐσίας• ὁ δὲ διεῖλεν αὐτοῖς τὸν βίον.
And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.
καὶ μετ’ οὐ πολλὰς ἡμέρας συναγαγὼν πάντα ὁ νεώτερος υἱὸς ἀπεδήμησεν εἰς χώραν μακράν, καὶ ἐκεῖ διεσκόρπισεν τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτοῦ ζῶν ἀσώτως.
Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.
δαπανήσαντος δὲ αὐτοῦ πάντα ἐγένετο λιμὸς [c]ἰσχυρὰ κατὰ τὴν χώραν ἐκείνην, καὶ αὐτὸς ἤρξατο ὑστερεῖσθαι.
And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need.
καὶ πορευθεὶς ἐκολλήθη ἑνὶ τῶν πολιτῶν τῆς χώρας ἐκείνης, καὶ ἔπεμψεν αὐτὸν εἰς τοὺς ἀγροὺς αὐτοῦ βόσκειν χοίρους•
So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs.
ἐκολλήθη - he joined himself, he live as a Corinthian
καὶ ἐπεθύμει γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τῶν κερατίων ὧν ἤσθιον οἱ χοῖροι, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐδίδου αὐτῷ.
And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
εἰς ἑαυτὸν δὲ ἐλθὼν ἔφη• Πόσοι μίσθιοι τοῦ πατρός μου [f]περισσεύονται ἄρτων, ἐγὼ δὲ [g]λιμῷ ὧδε ἀπόλλυμαι•
But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father's hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!
ἀναστὰς πορεύσομαι πρὸς τὸν πατέρα μου καὶ ἐρῶ αὐτῷ• Πάτερ, ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου,
I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.
A true statement “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.”
– a good confession
οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου• ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου.
I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’
Another true statement up to a point... he still wants to control the situation. He’s still angry with the Father…’treat me as a slave,' "because that’s how you’ve always treated me!”
καὶ ἀναστὰς ἦλθεν πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ἑαυτοῦ. ἔτι δὲ αὐτοῦ μακρὰν ἀπέχοντος εἶδεν αὐτὸν ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐσπλαγχνίσθη καὶ δραμὼν ἐπέπεσεν ἐπὶ τὸν τράχηλον αὐτοῦ καὶ κατεφίλησεν αὐτόν.
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
εἶπεν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτῷ• Πάτερ, ἥμαρτον εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ ἐνώπιόν σου, [k]οὐκέτι εἰμὶ ἄξιος κληθῆναι υἱός σου.
And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.
Some manuscripts add “treat me as one of your hired servants…”
This is all the son is permitted to speak before the Father interrupts…
εἶπεν δὲ ὁ πατὴρ πρὸς τοὺς δούλους αὐτοῦ• Ταχὺ ἐξενέγκατε στολὴν τὴν πρώτην καὶ ἐνδύσατε αὐτόν, καὶ δότε δακτύλιον εἰς τὴν χεῖρα αὐτοῦ καὶ ὑποδήματα εἰς τοὺς πόδας,
But the father said to his servants, (bond servants) ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.
καὶ φέρετε τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτόν, θύσατε, καὶ φαγόντες εὐφρανθῶμεν,
And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.
ὅτι οὗτος ὁ υἱός μου νεκρὸς ἦν καὶ ἀνέζησεν, ἦν ἀπολωλὼς καὶ εὑρέθη. καὶ ἤρξαντο εὐφραίνεσθαι.
For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
Ἦν δὲ ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ ὁ πρεσβύτερος ἐν ἀγρῷ• καὶ ὡς ἐρχόμενος ἤγγισεν τῇ οἰκίᾳ, ἤκουσεν συμφωνίας καὶ χορῶν,
“Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
This older son, who is he, who does he remind us of?
καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος ἕνα τῶν παίδων ἐπυνθάνετο τί [q]ἂν εἴη ταῦτα•
And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.
ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ ὅτι Ὁ ἀδελφός σου ἥκει, καὶ ἔθυσεν ὁ πατήρ σου τὸν μόσχον τὸν σιτευτόν, ὅτι ὑγιαίνοντα αὐτὸν ἀπέλαβεν.
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.’
ὠργίσθη δὲ καὶ οὐκ ἤθελεν εἰσελθεῖν. ὁ δὲ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ ἐξελθὼν παρεκάλει αὐτόν.
But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him,
The Father continues to show mercy.
ὁ δὲ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν τῷ πατρὶ αὐτοῦ• Ἰδοὺ τοσαῦτα ἔτη δουλεύω σοι καὶ οὐδέποτε ἐντολήν σου παρῆλθον, καὶ ἐμοὶ οὐδέποτε ἔδωκας ἔριφον ἵνα μετὰ τῶν φίλων μου εὐφρανθῶ•
but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’
The older is like the younger…treating the Father with contempt begrudging His mercy!
ὅτε δὲ ὁ υἱός σου οὗτος ὁ καταφαγών σου τὸν βίον μετὰ πορνῶν ἦλθεν, ἔθυσας αὐτῷ τὸν σιτευτὸν μόσχον.
And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῷ• Τέκνον, σὺ πάντοτε μετ’ ἐμοῦ εἶ, καὶ πάντα τὰ ἐμὰ σά ἐστιν•32 εὐφρανθῆναι δὲ καὶ χαρῆναι ἔδει, ὅτι ὁ ἀδελφός σου οὗτος νεκρὸς ἦν καὶ [v]ἔζησεν, καὶ [w]ἀπολωλὼς καὶ εὑρέθη.
It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”
A definition of mercy and grace.
-The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software
-ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
-Schnorr Von Carolsfeld woodcuts, ‘The Crucifixion’© WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use
-LCMS Lectionary notes © 2016
-Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing