The Prodigal Son Rhetorical Analysis

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The Prodigal Son – One Parable or Two?
One critical question many scholars ask is, does the parable of the prodigal son combine two different parables? Those who argue for the notion that the parable could be the combination of two parables often break the parable up in verses 11-24 and 25-32. Pablo Polischuck notes that the first part of the parable provides a good amount of internal dialogue. Polischuck states, “…the Prodigal tapped into his episodic memories and used reflective cognitive processes to compare and contrast his previous experiences at his father’s house with his current situation. Such awareness…prompted him to engage in reflective, internal dialogues with self: “How many of my father’s hired workers have food enough to spare,
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This belief would be simpler to ascribe to then most layperson would acknowledge. While the event of the wayward younger son dominate the parable, it is important not to neglect the differing reactions between and father and son. Without noting the somewhat self-righteous anger of the older son, the parable might lose impact for the self-righteous in the original audience. P.C. Enniss writes from this perspective, “There was no party for the elder brother, no robe, no ring on the finger, no fatted calf, no father's embrace until well into the party, when the father finally noticed the older brother's absence and searched outside to find him sulking in the shadows, whereupon the father stammered through some feeble effort at an explanation, albeit unconvincing, one suspects.” From the perspective of the older brother, the father was acting irrationally and…show more content…
The teaching had to cover backgrounds from tax collectors to Pharisees. By his telling of the three parables, Jesus effectively communicates God’s nature as, “God does not do what the hearers expect God to do, for in the kingdom of God grace is always bestowed upon those who least warrant or presume upon it.” Upon grasping this understanding, there are a few certain applications the modern Christian can understand. First, Grace is unearned and undeserved. Throughout the parable, the Father is giving and showing his sons those things that they do not deserve; with the younger son, his inheritance then his forgiveness and celebration and with the older son, patients and understanding. A second application is, Jesus made it a point that his mission was not to conform to the social or cultural patterns of the day, but to “Seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). The three parables teach us the relentlessness with which we, as Christians should seek the lost as well. Unlike the Pharisees scribes, we must show compassion and accept those who are repentant of their

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