Today in Luke we have three parables with one message: the parable of the lost sheep, the parable of the lost coin, and the parable of the lost son. Three, the sign of Messiah in Scripture! This is Messiah’s ministry: He came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luk 19:10)!
Many of you have heard our testimony. Our youngest daughter was introduced to drugs while at youth group at church, left home, and was completely led astray into the dangerous and worldly life of a drug addict living on the streets. 90% of the time we did not even know where she was. This state of affairs lasted for four full years while my husband and I sought the LORD with tears night and day. My husband and I were so devastated.
Something the enemy beat me over the head with every day, was how greatly we — who claimed to love the LORD so intensely, who went to church every week and spent our lives serving the LORD, who were leaders in the homeschooling community — how greatly we had utterly failed in raising our children in the nurture and admonition of the LORD. That condemnation ran so so deep. But one day as I was reading the parable of the lost son, it occurred to me that the father in the story also had a son who went missing. And this father represented Father God, who is the perfect parent. It comforted me to realize that God understood and identified with the pain I was in. I am not sure how that helped me to make it through, but it helped. 🙂
(God miraculously protected and preserved our daughter while she was lost; and after four years He miraculously restored our daughter to us; He delivered her from every addiction; He healed her of every disease; and completely circumcised her heart toward Him. Today she is serving Him with all her heart, mind, and strength, and is about to be married to a wonderful, godly man, who, by the way, the LORD also delivered from many deep pits and snares of the enemy, to the praise of the glory of His grace!)
This parable that Jesus told is also prophetic. In Amos we begin seeing the LORD God refer to Israel as “the house of Joseph,” (Amo 5:4-6, 15). Now in Torah in particular, out of the twelve sons of Jacob, two are highlighted again and again: Judah, and Joseph (or Judah and Ephraim, who received the blessing of the firstborn of Joseph from Jacob, Gen 48). With Judah and Joseph, the blessing of Abraham was split into two: Judah received the firstborn’s rulership of the family, while Joseph received the firstborn’s blessing of provision (Gen 49).
Then when the unified kingdom of Israel was divided into two, an occurrence that was from the LORD (1 Kin 12:21-24), it was split into the southern kingdom of two tribes (Judah) and the northern kingdom of ten tribes (Israel, also known as Joseph or Ephraim.) These two kingdoms are two sons. The younger son, Joseph or Ephraim, took his Father’s inheritance and spent it all on riotous living. From the first king of the northern kingdom, Ephraim forsook the LORD and served idols. He went away in captivity to a foreign land — something that Amos is warning and prophesying to Israel about right now in our Old Testament readings.
However, the older son, Judah, remained in the land with the Father (except for the relatively brief Babylonian captivity of 70 years), even though some of her kings led her astray. YHVH was always faithful to raise up a king who restored Judah to Himself. Thus Judah the older son served and obeyed his Father.
Ephraim, who has lived in a pig pen among the nations for millennia, is now waking up and realizing who he is and what he has done, and is making his way back to his Father’s house. This is why so many Christians and Gentiles are discovering their Hebrew Roots in this generation! The son that was lost is now found, and Ephraim and Judah will be restored together under their Father’s roof!