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Volume 33 - Page 107 of 253 Index | Zoom | |
The Pearl of Parables.
The Parable of the Father (Luke 15: 11-32).
Volume XXXII, p. 205
The parable of the Prodigal Son has been called the pearl of parables. While it may be
unwise to attempt comparisons between passages in Holy Writ, there is, nevertheless, in
this parable, great appeal to the heart and much to move the feelings as one follows the
progress of the prodigal both upon his disastrous outward journey, and during his return
to love and restoration.
It is not by accident that this parable is recorded by Luke, for it is consonant with his
practice of choosing always the evangelical aspect of his subject. Where Matthew's
narrative is of the birth at Bethlehem of the "King", Luke delights to tell the good tidings
of the birth of a "Saviour". Matthew of course pursues his definite purpose, for he
proclaims the King and the kingdom, but Luke, the right-hand man of the apostle Paul,
has a different object in view. It is he alone who traces the genealogy of Christ to God
through Adam and, again, it is he alone who records the parable of "The Good
Samaritan", a parable that could have no place in the Gospel of the Publican who went
down to his house "justified" rather than the Pharisee; a blessed anticipation of the
doctrine of Romans and of the confession of Phil. 3: 1-9.
Perhaps the affection in which this parable has ever been held is because it is the
parable of the FATHER, a word that is used twelve times in the narrative. It was the
mission of Christ to reveal the Father:
"No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of
the Father, He hath declared Him" (John 1: 18).
He declared Him in His life, for the Son of God is the "express image of His Person".
His declaration to the enquiring disciples was: "He that hath seen Me, hath seen the
Father"; He declared Him in His gospel, in His discourses and in His parables, and here,
in the parable of the Prodigal Son, we may learn something of the nature and character of
Him to Whom we cry, "Abba, Father".