The Third Son


I love to learn new things. Right now, I am (once again) memorizing the countries on the continent of Africa. And, I saw a new word in a Costco ad this morning. Had to look it up (it was “coffret”). So, I was really excited this past Sunday when Adam taught me something out of God’s Word that I have NEVER heard before.

He was focusing on the heart of our Savior and making sure we saw that His love and care is rooted and grounded in GOODNESS. He started with the theological truth that no one is good except God alone. And then he took us to the stories about the lost items in Luke 15.

Most of us know the story of the “Prodigal Son” (Luke 15:11-32). We all could retell it. We know the youngest son offended his dad, grabbed his inheritance and took off for a life of “fun.” We all could recount the part where the son “comes to his senses” and returns home, hoping to just work as a servant in his dad’s fields.

We know details of how his father saw him a long way off, hugged his neck, put a ring on his finger, a robe on his shoulders and threw a huge party in his honor. We know about the second son who pouted and whined about how his own faithful (yet pharisaical) service had been overlooked. And we know how his dad responded.

But Adam mentioned a third son. And when he did, my head snapped up. Like you, I am very familiar with the story and have never seen a third son mentioned. But oh my, how Adam was correct.

Right there between the lines of text is indeed a third son. Usually His words are printed in red, and I could suddenly see them quite clearly. The heart of our Savior was permeating that story because He was the one telling it!

That “third son” made sure that we all saw the goodness and love of the Father in Luke’s account. And that “third son” made sure that the invitation to come home was extended to every sinner (the obvious in your-face ones and the sneaky self-righteous ones). He is always excited to announce, “He was lost and is found!”

That “third son” is still announcing that kind of good news. And the Father is still offering that same kind of forgiveness. So, if you are feeling a bit “removed” or spiritually out of sorts this week, I would encourage you to spend some time thinking about that “third son” and how much He loves you.

The heart of our Savior beats for us!

Sherry Worel



Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.
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