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Luke 15:30-32

Context
15:30 But when this son of yours 1  came back, who has devoured 2  your assets with prostitutes, 3  you killed the fattened calf 4  for him!’ 15:31 Then 5  the father 6  said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and everything that belongs to me is yours. 15:32 It was appropriate 7  to celebrate and be glad, for your brother 8  was dead, and is alive; he was lost and is found.’” 9 

1 sn Note the younger son is not “my brother” but this son of yours (an expression with a distinctly pejorative nuance).

2 sn This is another graphic description. The younger son’s consumption had been like a glutton. He had both figuratively and literally devoured the assets which were given to him.

3 sn The charge concerning the prostitutes is unproven, but essentially the older brother accuses the father of committing an injustice by rewarding his younger son’s unrighteous behavior.

4 sn See note on the phrase “fattened calf” in v. 23.

5 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events in the parable.

6 tn Grk “he”; the referent (the father) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Or “necessary.”

8 sn By referring to him as your brother, the father reminded the older brother that the younger brother was part of the family.

9 sn The theme he was lost and is found is repeated from v. 24. The conclusion is open-ended. The reader is left to ponder with the older son (who pictures the scribes and Pharisees) what the response will be. The parable does not reveal the ultimate response of the older brother. Jesus argued that sinners should be pursued and received back warmly when they returned.



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