It has been a long time…
Over a year to be precise. I’ll just lay it out there. It was a lofty goal I set and couldn’t complete. I am back at it, trying to read a new book every single week. I’ve decided that I will have a back up of short books for weeks that are not complementary to long reads.
That being said, not that I have any readers yet, I apologize for my lackluster commitment to this goal. I am going to put my proverbial hand back to the plow. Without further adieu, MY REVIEW!
A Tale of Two Sons, by John MacArthur, is an exposition of the Prodigal Son parable told by Jesus in Luke 15. MacArthur has taken a sermon series on the parable and placed it in a reader-friendly format, as is the trend among today’s pastors.
MacArthur gives us the cultural context and implications of the story by taking this ancient bible parable and breaking it down into four sections. The four parts of the book are as follows: The Parable, The Prodigal, The Father, and The Elder Brother. After The Parable, MacArthur shows how Jesus used the three key characters of the parable to teach the audience (full of sinners and Pharisees) a crucial lesson on sin, repentance, forgiveness, and contempt.
Growing up in a pastor’s home I always saw the Prodigal as the focal point of the parable. It seemed obvious to me that Jesus wanted us to learn about how if we rebel (like most pastor’s children do, myself included) we will need to return humbly from the pigsty to be back within the Father’s embrace. Little did I realize, as MacArthur points out, the purpose of the parable was not solely to show the sinner’s need for God, but also to show about the lavish celebration the Father throws for the undeserving son and the absolute contempt the elder brother had for the brother and ultimately the Father.
I really did enjoy reading this book. Getting a fresh perspective on old knowledge is always great. MacArthur did a wonderful job of taking the context of the audience 2000 years ago and explaining the significance of the parable to our 21st century setting.
I can recommend this to anyone who is or was a prodigal child.
I can recommend this to those blamed of being a modern day Pharisee (All works, little faith)
I can recommend this to anyone who has children who are prodigals and/or Pharisees.
It’s an easy read that takes you into the world where Jesus walked and taught, and allows you to hear the parable as it was originally intended.