The Irony of Religious Resentment

In The Parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus showed the grave mishandling of the religious community to those whose lives were being changed. We cannot confuse our relationship with the Father as something we deserve.

Luke 15:11-32


  • The religious community was disgusted at how Jesus welcomed sinners (15:1-2).
  • Jesus directed three parallel parables to the Pharisees to explain God’s heart.
  • Through the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son, Jesus portrayed God as a seeker of the lost.


  • The son lost everything he needed because of pursuing everything he wanted (11-16).
  • Repentance requires admitting rebellion and seeking restoration (17-20).
  • God is a loving Father who runs down the road to welcome His empty-handed children (21-24).
  • No presents of the Father will ever be greater than the presence of the Father (25-32).


  • Sin brings momentary happiness, but obedience sustains lasting joy.
  • God is never standoffish to a person desiring change.
  • If you cannot celebrate someone else’s redemption, it’s doubtful that you can truly appreciate your own.
  • The irony of religious resentment is when you forgot how lost you once were.
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