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What Did Jesus Mean?Explaining the Sermon on the Mount and the Parables in Simple and Universal Human Concepts$
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Anna Wierzbicka

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195137330

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195137337.001.0001

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The Prodigal Son

The Prodigal Son

(p.300) Ten The Prodigal Son
What Did Jesus Mean?

Anna Wierzbicka (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The message of the parable of the Prodigal Son, which has been called “a gospel in miniature,” is related to that of the Lost Sheep and Lost Coin, but it places a greater emphasis on the possibilities open to all sinners: all people can ‘live with God,” if only they want to. The parable illustrates the freedom of God's children, who are not forced to “live with God” if they don’t want to, and God's infinite patience and desire for every individual to want to live with him. In universal human concepts:

God doesn’t want a person to think: “I have to live with God”

God wants a person to think: “I want to live with God”

The chapter discuss the issues of self‐judgment, repentance, self‐righteousness, and God's infinite forgiveness.

Keywords:   forgiveness, freedom, repentance, self‐judgment, self‐righteousness

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