Biblical Studies | Christianity
The fifteenth chapter of Luke recounts a contentious exchange between Jesus and the Pharisees, a confrontation where the Pharisees essentially attacked the moral character of Christ. After all, he accepted the company of wretched sinners.
In response to this grumbling, Jesus told them “this parable” (Luke 15:3). Yet what followed was not one but rather three stories: the story of the lost lamb, the lost coin, and what is commonly but incorrectly known as the prodigal son.
Yet these three stories are merely a three time recounting of a unified message. They were told to the same audience, they have common themes, but most important of all, they share the common purpose of revealing the heart of God.
This paper is an exposition of this chapter from Luke. These are not stories about herding, housekeeping, or parenting. Instead, these stories reveal the incredible passion Almighty God has for lost sinners, written so that Theophilus, plus all others who would read this “orderly account,” would see a word picture of the heavenly father and be able to discern for themselves the heart of God.
Barnes, Terry N., "Luke 15: The Heart of God" (2005). Faculty Publications and Presentations. 192.