I love that I can read the same Scripture more than once and get an entirely different message from it. It’s like the skin of an onion where you peel back layer and layer only to discover more!
I recently discovered a new “layer” from a very familiar parable that Jesus taught; the Prodigal Son.
It’s very possible that I saw this particular facet of truth because I have just finished writing a book on the subject. But I saw this story as an illustration of the two different educational systems we choose from on a daily basis; the Greek and Hebraic ways of learning and thinking.
Since the beginning of life on earth there have been two distinct systems of education. One based on learning in relationship (Hebraic), the other based on self-sufficiency and independence (Greek).
For those of you that may not be familiar with the parable, I would encourage you to skip down to the bottom of this article and read it. If you know the story, but haven’t read it for yourself, or it’s been a while, I would encourage you to read now too.*
In summary, one of the two sons of a father demands his inheritance and leaves to live a licentious life. He eventually comes to his senses and returns to his father’s house to live as a servant, not as a son. The father sees him from far off and runs to greet his son. The father immediately restores his son’s position and authority and calls for a party to celebrate the son’s return.
While there a many things we can learn from this parable, the lesson I would suggest is the following.
It is our choice to live with the father or leave his house. We can learn in a relationship with a paternal mentor (Hebraic way) or we can choose to leave and learn independently on our own (Greek way).
It is easy to leave and it is easy to return; it is a matter of choice.
If you decide to leave, you’re on your own. But if you decide to return, you’ll be fully welcomed without condition or limitation!
The same is true about the two learning systems. If you leave a mentorship relationship, you can always return (assuming that the mentor is as forgiving and merciful as the father in the parable). Despite the fact that you may have gotten “lost” on your own, the mentor can help you “clean up” and get back on track.
To enjoy all of the Father’s blessings we must dwell in the Father’s house. It should go without saying that if we leave, we are on our own.
Living in relationship with the Father gives us access to His vision, wisdom, encouragement and strength. Co-working with the Father…with His authority. You have access to the Father’s assets and provision.
The Hebraic way of learning offers a holistic personal and professional development in a loving and caring paternal relationship. The Greek way is secular, sterile, compartmentalized and done independently.
The Hebraic way, at first, seems difficult and expensive; it requires time and love. The Greek way offers efficiency, speed and ease.
The Greek way of thinking and learning has not only crept its way into our schools and businesses, but into the Christian church!
As always, God has a way that may seem foolish to some, but is always…. A most excellent way! It’s that WAY that we need to return to if we desire to enjoy God’s best!
If you would like to learn more about God’s most excellent way, I suggest that you purchase my new book…
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*Let’s visit the story… The Parable of the Lost Son
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinnedagainst heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”