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Today, I’m going to speak one of two messages. This week I would entitle the message, One Lost Son. Next Sunday, Two Lost Sons. Luke 15, it’s a passage well known. And you’ve heard many, many wonderful messages, I’m sure, on this very passage. But I trust that there’ll be some little gold nugget just for you that will enlighten you and encourage you in your Bible studying and reading. So I’m only going to read the first verse. In all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to him to hear him and the Pharisees and the scribes complained, this man received sinners and he eats with them. So in response, he spoke a parable. I want to emphasize that although the Word of God is our only source of truth, eternal and other writings, historical articles, history is invaluable. 

If you don’t understand the historical setting, you might miss some of the divine truth of the church here. And so I want to enlighten you this morning to going to help you just a little bit. For those of you who are reasonably new, you’re going to hear some things that these folks, the ones who’ve been here for a bit, have already heard. So for those of you who have heard some of this, please forgive. But I think it’s worthwhile repeating anyway. So first of all, the synagogue in the local village was absolutely essential. It was the focal point of the village, of the town, of the city. And the synagogue had been promoted by the Pharisees who didn’t think that it was all

that important to go and honor the temple worship. They were encouraging the people to go to the synagogues. So there was a synagogue in every town, but the synagogue was never established unless there were enough people to be the cause. So there couldn’t just be two or three families in a village. There had to be more than that. And once there was a legitimate number, I can’t remember what that number should be, but then it would be essential that there would be a synagogue that would be put up and honored. The synagogue then was, it was the town center. It was everything.

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