Jeremy spoke tonight on Luke 15:11-32, the story of the prodigal son.
This story seems unfair. The older son has been working faithfully for all of these years, but gets nothing. The younger son leaves, comes back, and gets a party. It almost seems to be rewarding his poor choices.
The father has a completely different view, though. He calls the younger son worthy just because he's his son. It's not about whatever the son has done in the past or will do in the future. The father loves both of his sons, unrelated to what they have and haven't done.
Jesus wants both groups of people listening to see themselves as the sons in the story. The Pharisees and teachers of the law would be positioned as the older son, while the tax collectors and sinners would be positioned as the younger son.
An inheritance is what would have been received after the father had died. Asking for his inheritance early is equivalent to the younger son already wishing that the father was dead. It would be easy for the outcome of the story to be that the younger son is punished for this sort of sentiment. Why would God follow a different script? It seems almost too good to be true.
Jesus calls us worthy, regardless of what we have and haven't done. He shows us that the world deserves grace because no one deserves it.