The parables of Jesus modernized for a contemporary audience (Week 2)

June 18, 2020

When I think about how God’s Word still teaches us today through its timeless truths, my mind inherently turns to the spiritual insight we continue to glean from the parables Jesus spoke during His earthly ministry. While the Bible was completed many years ago, it contains the unchanging message of hope and values for us to live by. This month, I am looking at a few of Jesus’ parables and placing them in our contemporary setting to show how the Bible is relevant not just yesterday, but today and tomorrow. This week, let’s creatively engage our imagination and get a feel of how Jesus often challenged His followers to think outside of the box. I am dedicating this month’s series to Pastor Crouther, New Covenant Baptist Church, who has been the inspiration for this series, as he has the extraordinary gift of modernizing a parable of Jesus to preach a sermon that speaks directly to a contemporary audience. This week, I will use the well known Parable of the Prodigal Son and contemporize it by using a similar scenario:

Read: The Prodigal Son – Luke 15:11-32

A wealthy man had two sons; the younger son demanded that his father give him his share of his father’s estate NOW! The younger son took the money and a few credit cards and spent the next few months clubbing it, gambling and drinking. It wasn’t long before he had spent all of his money on immoral living and his credit cards were being declined one by one. He found a part-time job but he was barely able to pay rent and buy food. Aware of the bridges he’d burned, he began to feel sorry for himself and wanted to go home. He was finally able to conjure up the nerve to text his father who was overjoyed to hear from him and paid for his ticket home. When his father met his younger son at the airport, he gave him a big hug and showed his excitement by throwing an intimate gathering for his son.

When the older son drove up after work that evening, he heard music and laughter and asked a neighbor what was going on. The neighbor explained his brother had come home and his father had thrown a welcome home party. The older brother was upset. He pouted and refused to go into the house and join the celebration. The father heard his older son was outside pouting and he tried to persuade his older son to come in but his son said, ‘Wait, I’ve been here, and I never left, but my brother goes out, spends all of his money on clubbing, gambling and prostitutes, and he comes home and you forgive him and throw him a party!? I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around that!’ The father responded, ‘Son, if you had walked away, and returned, I would have forgiven you and celebrated your return too! Come and rejoice with us. My son, your brother, has come home! He was lost but now he’s found!’

This parable of the prodigal shows us the forgiving power of God’s love. God loves us and welcomes us back when we have gone astray and/or rebelled against God. As low as the prodigal son was, he was not hopelessly lost. God loves us the same way despite our rebelliousness.

Beloved, are you indifferent to those who have walked away, one way or the other; but in their return, you can’t seem to forgive because you’re too busy holding on to what they did or how they have hurt you or someone you care deeply for? Allow this parable to help you to love, accept and forgive others. Today, the power of God’s forgiveness still reaches out to all and our forgiveness must also reach out to everyone too!

Next Week: Series Continuation

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only and in no way is meant as a literal paraphrase of the parable discussed. It is an attempt to aid in understanding and applying the material. In some instances, this article contains the opinions, conclusions and/or recommendations of the writer. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.