Jesus: A Portrait

Chapter 7: The Parable of The Father's Love

The lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7); lost coin (Luke 15:8-10) and lost person (Luke 15:11-32); Verlorene Sohn (p111).

The Lost Sheep and The Lost Coin (p112)

Uncharacteristically ignorant of Palestine shepherdcraft - KC; he did not own the sheep; he would not have abandoned 99 for one; he was not "comparatively rich" - KC (p112).

The Lost Son (p113)

Curiously, he does not mention the best book on the subject: Nouwen, Henri: The Return of The Prodigal Son qqq - KC (p113). First-born entitled to twice as much as other sons, so 'prodigal' got 1/3; sold property, only claimable on father's death, for cash; instead of attaching himself to a Jewish family, he reports to gentiles; "The sinner who begins with prostitutes ends by becoming a thoroughly Godless apostate" (p114). "Forgiveness is expressed by what the father does" (p115).

The Father's Love (p115)

"Jesus offered an arresting answer to the question: what is God like?" (p115). a) Self forgetful; b) Beyond reason: "Genuine love is not against reason, but goes beyond reason"; Pascal: "The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing"; 1 Corinthians 13 (p116). "God sees in us, one may say, divine icons" (p118). c) The eyes of love: "A modern prejudice holds that love distorts things"; A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It: "The view of love expressed (but not necessarily held) by Shakespeare seems to be rather befuddled and runs contrary to the link that John's Gospel, St. Augustine of Hippo, and many others have recognised between loving and knowing. ... Many other great voices from the Christian tradition maintain that the eyes of love lead us into the truth" (p118). d) Loved into life; e) Giving and receiving (p119). The nature of love is reciprocal (I think not - KC); f) loving always (p120).

The elder Brother (p121)

"This son of yours" the greatest Gospel sneer; Self pity gnaws; "... he is no better than the fellow who took money and went off to wallow in some high living" (p122).

A Tale of Two Sons (123)

The Risk and Joy of Love (p124)

a) Vulnerability: love exposes one to suffering; "Real love produces vulnerability and sends lovers out over open ground under fire"; the term "The Passion"; love makes God vulnerable. b) Joy: "There is no more obvious spin-off from love than joy" (p125).

Conclusion (p125)

"In his preaching Jesus never offered a concept of God... Jesus characterised God by telling ... stories"; "So much of what he taught was implicitly autobiographical and allows us to fill out our portrait of Jesus" (p126).