Episode 1: Series Introduction

 

Episode 1 (Exposé 9): Introduction

Anchor Lady: Hello all. This is anchor lady welcoming you to another episode of Exposé where we turn the light on Christ. Today, with me as usual, is Peter. So would you want to welcome our audience and do a quick recap on what we’ve been doing for the past few months on Exposé.

Peter: I welcome you, everyone, watching on the internet, to Exposé—where we turn the light on Christ. You’ve been with us on the various episodes of Exposé, what we’ve actually been doing is to make sure that we bring Christ back as the main focus of our lives as believers. The reason for that is, every day we face lots of substitutes—substitutes to the cross of Christ. So Exposé focuses on making sure that we as Christians keep the main thing as the main thing. And that’s what we’ve done through all the various episodes right from the first time we had episode one where we talked about Who Christ was right up to the last episode where we talked about the death of the testator being the opportunity for us to enter into the riches of Christ.

Anchor Lady: So where are we focusing the light on today?

Peter: Yeah. I mean, we…today, we’re continuing on that Exposé journey and what we are looking at is the Heart of the Father. If you look at the scripture, the Bible tells us that “no one has seen God at any time except the Son of God who came from the side of the Father to reveal Who He is.”[1] It means that Jesus is the express image of the Father. So if we look at the heart of the Father, we are looking at who Christ really is, because He came to express the heart of the Father—the true nature of God. So today, we’re looking at the heart of the Father using a very popular parable that Jesus spoke.

Anchor Lady: Okay. Popular passage… and what is that?

Peter: Yeah! I mean, this is what most people call (the story of) “the prodigal son” in Luke Chapter 15. But you see, for want of a better title, we will like to title this “The Prodigal Father”

Anchor Lady: That’s a new thing. It’s very strange. All along, I’ve been reading, I knew that passage as the prodigal son’s (story). So why this bogus theme of Prodigal Father?

Peter: Well, Anchor Lady, one thing you need to know is that it was the Bible scholars—those who documented the scrolls—that actually put the title, the prodigal son. Jesus didn’t talk about the son being prodigal—even though you might claim that the son was prodigal—but the title was given by the Bible scholars. But I think, using the eyes of revelation to look at the Luke 15 parable, you will have to agree by the time we go through that this is about the prodigal father.

Anchor Lady: Anyway, I have my reservation about the title, ‘Prodigal Father’, but I will allow you to do justice to that. Let’s know where you are going.

Peter: Well, like I said, if you look at the story in Luke chapter 15, let’s get down with it—let’s get down with this parable of the prodigal father. Now, to every story, there’s always a background; there’s always a backdrop—there’s always a context to the story. So the first thing we’ll be looking at is The Context. Now, if you have your Bible there—and if you don’t, you can just follow as we go through Luke chapter 15, from verse 1 and I read:

“Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.” That’s verses one. Verse 2 says “And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receives sinners, and eats with them.” Now, just reading verse one and verse two, we have a good understanding of who the audience are. We have the publicans and sinners in verse one, and we have the Pharisees and the scribes in verse two. So, these were the audience that were there when Jesus began to speak these parables. Now, understand that this parable of the prodigal son—or the Prodigal Father, whatever—actually didn’t start until verse eleven. I know that, because Jesus spoke other parables, but He spoke all the parables from verse 3 right unto the end of the chapter 15—He spoke them to the same audience. So this same audience were there when he spoke the parable starting from verse 11.

Anchor Lady: Well, I’ll like to know: why the importance of we knowing the audience?

Peter: Well, yeah… the audience is quite important. When Jesus speaks parables, He always says one thing for sure; He will tell you that parables—if you don’t understand earthly things, how can you understand heavenly things? So we know the parables of Jesus was a means of actually exposing something much more deeper—or more spiritual—than just the natural story. Now, if you notice from verse eleven, it says “And he said, A certain man had two sons”. Can you see that? He said a certain man had two what?

Anchor Lady: sons

Peter: And we know there were two different types of audience that were listening to Jesus.

Anchor Lady: So you are saying there were two audiences then we have two sons…

Peter: Yeah. Verse 1 says there were republicans and sinners on one side where they were and there were Pharisees and scribes on the other side. They were two different categories listening to Jesus. So when Jesus started His parable, there were two sons—

Anchor Lady: Is there any correlation?

Peter: Well, Well, Well, Well, you’d see. When someone tells you a story and you see the reaction from the audience, then you can tell if the story being told is about them or not. If it wasn’t about them, they wouldn’t react, they wouldn’t feel personal about the story. By the time we go through, you would know if the audience knew He spoke this parable about them. I mean, if you check some parables of Jesus, there are some parables that the Bible says “and the audience knew He spoke this parable about them.”[2] I mean, if you check the Bible, it says that “they knew He spoke this about them”, so people always can tell if the parable is about them or not.

Anchor Lady: So we have two established identities in the audience there

Peter: Yes, we have two different types of people—two different classifications of humanity that were listening to Jesus according to verse one and verse two of Luke chapter 15

Anchor Lady: And then we have two different personalities in the sons

Peter: Exactly. There were two sons—two types of sons.

Anchor Lady: Are we not to go into the definition of (the word) ‘prodigal’—recklessness or what does the word connote?

Peter: Thank you, Anchor Lady for that, because we are looking at the fact that what audacity do we have to call the Father ‘prodigal’?

Anchor Lady: Yes.

Peter: Now, you see, the word ‘prodigal’ in itself doesn’t really have a negative connotation. It depends on how you look at it. If you check your dictionary, basically, you will understand, I mean, it talks about the fact that being prodigal means being reckless. That’s when you actually spend your resources with abandon. That’s just when you give out and you don’t even think—you don’t give a second thought about what you are doing in terms of spending your resources. That’s when you are prodigal. Yeah.

Anchor Lady: If I remember perfectly well, there’s a translation of a verse which says “Behold what manner of love the Father has lavished on us—”[3]

Peter: That’s it. He poured it out on us without a recourse—without a second thought. He just gave without thinking about it.

Anchor Lady: Hmmmmm. He just gives without finding fault…

Peter: Yeah. James said “the God who gives liberally…”[4] A version says “He gives liberally to all men” Liberally means you just give without any calculation—you just give without any thought. That’s it—that’s (being) prodigal. So what James chapter 1 was describing was a prodigal God who gives without finding fault, without blame. NIV says “He gives without looking for gains.”

Anchor Lady: Hmmm… As you’re talking about that, it’s linking another verse for me in Psalm 68[5] where it says “Give gifts even to the rebellious”

Peter: That’s it. Jesus spoke to people and said your heavenly Father is so good that He causes the sun to shine on both the good and the wicked. That’s prodigal—that’s giving the sun to shine upon the good and the wicked

Anchor Lady: —even to the rebellious

Peter: to the rebellious! The God who gives without finding faults.

Anchor Lady: I think I’m looking forward and I’m sure our audience is looking forward to see that prodigal nature in that story.

Peter: See, see, see, Anchor Lady, before we go further with the story, I want our audience—those who are looking on the internet to know that this parable of Jesus is a perfect description of all humanity. I mean, I don’t really care who you are—your orientation, your personality, your racial…your classification, your stratification, the society, economic classification, the country where you live in—it doesn’t really matter. All humanity can be found in this Luke chapter 15 verses one and verse two.

Anchor Lady: In other words, you are saying that all humanity can be subdivided—

Peter: encapsulated in those two sons. Every person—every person on the planet can be encapsulated—you are either going to be either of the two sons. So this parable speaks to everyone. It doesn’t matter where you are, what stage you are, where you came from or where you are going to, you are in one of these two sons

Anchor Lady: that means it’s very central to also—it’s very interesting. We should pay attention to this parable.

Peter: That’s it. We need to understand this parable. We need to take a hold of this parable if we are going to make progress with walking the life of Christ that has been given to us by faith, so if we are going to take hold of it and lay hold on life eternal, we need to understand this parable

Anchor Lady: Hmmm…that’s good. You have whet our appetite on this parable. And so I’m sure our audience are looking forward to digging into it

Peter: Yeah—and there is one thing again that is quite interesting, Anchor Lady. You see, when Jesus speaks, unfortunately, a lot of people who in quote “are religious” always tend to classify or stratify the words of Jesus and they wonder—I mean that Jesus is speaking to us Christians or they think He’s speaking to ‘us’ and not talking to them, or it’s a matter of ‘we’ against ‘them’—all this kind of stuff. When Jesus speaks, He speaks to all humanity. That’s why it doesn’t matter where anybody is and whether they’ve been in church or not been in church, religious or not religious—it doesn’t matter where they are. The words of Jesus are relevant to everyone—they speak to everyone, it doesn’t matter where they are. That’s why we say this parable speaks to all humanity.

Anchor Lady: Since this unite all classes, I don’t think we’ll have enough time to dig into it. So next week at this same time, similar time, we will be having this and we will continue from where we stop so we implore all our audience to join us here and you can broaden this conversation by putting in your comments. So till we see next time, we want to say thank you and God bless you.

Peter: Yes. Thank you, God bless you. We will actually encourage you to join us on this journey of turning the light on Christ—and that’s where we are on about on Exposé. So, see you. God bless you. Thank you for your time. Bye!

 

[1] Reference: John 6:46

[2] Reference: Matthew 21:45

[3] Reference: 1 John 3:1 NIV/CJB

[4] Reference: James 1:5

[5] Reference: Psalm 68:18

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