Bible Time Period: Messianic Fulfillment
You sent your only Son, Jesus Christ the Messiah, to fulfill all your promises: Give me new life in him.
Jesus uses a number of parables in today’s reading to explain the nature of the kingdom of God that he is establishing. (A parable here is a comparison in which something “real” is used to get across a spiritual meaning.) As you read, take note of the reaction of the Jewish leaders to the things Jesus says.
Do you find yourself wondering, who were the Pharisees and the Sadducees? Back when Hellenization began to threaten Jewish identity (see Day 74 of this reading challenge), some of the Jews drew apart into what became a distinct class of “separated ones,” the Pharisees. They focused on personal piety and were devoted to the Law. By the time of Christ, they were the religious experts and were respected sources of teaching and authority.
Beginning around the same time in Israel’s history, the Sadducees became the dominant priestly party. They tended to be wealthy political leaders who allied themselves with Greece and Rome. They were at times opposed by the Pharisees, who advocated a strict separatism.
Luke 15 contains three parables of “lost” things (a sheep, a coin, and a son). What do they illustrate about God?
For deeper thought: how does the Prodigal Son show us a picture of Israel?
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