Give Me Mine – Gospel in Life

Give Me Mine

Tim Keller |  October 5, 2008

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  • Idolatry
Luke 15:11-14
RS 205-2


In Luke 15, we’re learning how the gospel creates a special kind of community, and how it creates a new kind of community. We’re looking at the last of the three parables: the parable of the lost son. It’s the most famous. And it’s the longest.

I’d like you to think about this story in a slightly different way than you probably want to do. I’d like you to consider the story is giving us a picture of an assault on community because of idolatry. And this is only overcome by agony. This is our first avenue into understanding this very rich and important text.

Luke 15:11–32

The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15 helps us understand how putting things before God can damage our relationships and community. The story also shows us that fixing these relationships can be hard and painful, but it’s necessary to enjoy a real sense of community. This parable is a good starting point to dive deeper into important spiritual ideas.

1. This is an attack on community

The prodigal son’s story is a clear example of how valuing things or freedom more than our relationship with God can lead to problems. This idea, known as idolatry, can be hard to spot. For instance, someone might seem very religious, but their heart could be more focused on worldly desires. Idolatry can lead to broken relationships and divided communities, reminding us of the importance of loving God above all and serving Him for real happiness.

3. The attack can only be beaten by suffering

The prodigal son’s story also shows us how the father’s love is so deep that he’s willing to suffer for his son’s mistakes, always ready to forgive and make things right. This is a picture of what Jesus did for us, choosing to suffer so that we could be healed and changed. The Lord’s Supper is a physical reminder of this sacrifice, making these spiritual truths more real and helping us feel God’s presence.



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In The Reason for God, Tim Keller examines literature, philosophy, real-life conversations and reasoning to present how faith in Christ is a sound and rational belief with intellectual integrity.