Luke 15:20

New Testament

17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have food enough to spare, but here I am dying from hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired workers.”’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way from home his father saw him, and his heart went out to him; he ran and hugged his son and kissed him. 21 Then his son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Hurry! Bring the best robe, and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it! Let us eat and celebrate, 24 because this son of mine was dead, and is alive again—he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate.

Deuteronomy Rabbah 2:24


Another explanation: THOU WILT RETURN TO THE LORD THY GOD. R. Samuel Pargrita said in the name of R. Meir: This can be compared to the son of a king who took to evil ways. The king sent a tutor to him who appealed to him saying, ‘Repent, my son.’ The son, however, sent him back to his father [with the message], ‘How can I have the effrontery to return? I am ashamed to come before you.’ Thereupon his father sent back word, ‘My son, is a son ever ashamed to return to his father? And is it not to your father that you will be returning?’ ‘Similarly, the Holy One, blessed be He, sent Jeremiah to Israel when they sinned, and said to him: ‘Go, say to My children, ‘Return.’ Whence this? For it is said, Go and proclaim these words, etc. (Jer. 111, 12). Israel asked Jeremiah: ‘How can we have the effrontery to return to God?’ Whence do we know this? For it is said, Let us le down in our shame, and let our confusion cover us, etc. (ib. 25). But God sent back word to them: ‘My children, if you return, will you not be returning to your Father?’ Whence this? [For it is said], For I am become a father to Israel, etc. R. ‘Azariah said: God said to Jeremiah: ‘Go, tell Israel, I will not prove false to you. At Sinai you declared, My heart yearneth for Him (S.S. v, 4); I too say the same to you.’ Whence this? For it is said, Is Ephraim a darling son unto Me . . . therefore My heart yearneth for him (Jer. XXXI, 20).

 Notes and References

"... Harvey McArthur and Robert Johnston find a fivefold structure is typical for the narrative mashal in rabbinic literature, although elements are sometimes omitted. We can observe this structure in the rabbinic parable in Deuteronomy Rabbah 2:24, which is a midrash (or commentary) on Deuteronomy 4:30 ... What, then, are the connections between the parables of Jesus and the parables in the rabbinic tradition? Because they share some compositional similarities, rabbinic parables can shed light on Jesus’ parables. For example, the king and a wedding feast in Matthew 22:1–14 (contrast the same parable in Luke 14:16–24, in which “a man” gives a “great banquet”) resemble the portrayals of kings in rabbinic parables that symbolize God’s actions. Several scholars, like David Flusser, stress other similarities between rabbinic parables and Gospel parables, such as formulaic elements of diction, conventional themes, and stereotyped motifs. Flusser postulates that the rabbinic parables and the parables of Jesus stem from a common narrative tradition—they have affinities with the fables of Aesop, though the parables were a development within Palestine. Jesus’ parables are an older, non-exegetical, “ethical” type of rabbinic parable, he suggests, and the differences between Jesus’ parables and later rabbinic parables are due primarily to a new rabbinic focus upon the explanation of biblical passages ..."

Gowler, David B. The Contexts of Jesus' Parables (pp. 11-18) Center for Christian Ethics at Baylor University, 2006

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