Joshua conquered most of the land, but not all of it, though it wasn’t his fault as his age had caught up with him and he was in his twilight years before the conquest was completed. The text mentions that the land of the Philistines remained unconquered, and these people would eventually be the worst of the thorns in the side of Israel throughout the coming age of the Judges.
Caleb receives his inheritance, and it is the city of Hebron, the place where the patriarchs were buried. He receives his own personal city because he was the only spy besides Joshua who believed God would give them this land when they were went to do surveillance 45 years earlier, but because of the ten spies that were afraid they were banned from entering the land for 40 years and wandered the desert. Now he gets his reward after all this time.
The Pharisees were murmuring about Jesus, that he openly dined with sinners and tax collectors. Since eating meals was an intimate experience back then, there were no restaurants and so a hot meal is always going to be homemade, to dine with someone was seen s a sign of friendship. So Jesus is openly befriending these untouchables in society by eating with them.
Jesus launches into several parables that express the reasons why he’s doing what he’s doing. God doesn’t just welcome home repentant sinners, he extends his love and grace to all sinners to call them to repentance and beckon them to come home. Nobody is beyond redemption in God’s eyes, and his offer of salvation is on the table for every person ever born. This is especially summed up in the final parable he tells them in this chapter.
The parable of the prodigal son is deep and layered, and yet very simple. You’ve never gone far enough or sinned too much to be forgiven. You can always, at all times, in all places, and in every circumstance, come home to your Heavenly Father and seek reconciliation with him.
We often see ourselves as the brother that left and lived a sinful life, and this is definitely true because we are all sinners in need of grace and forgiveness, but we are also sometimes the other brother who stayed at home. There’s no indication that he was a righteous man, just that he stayed with his father. This is a good thing, but in other places he could’ve been wicked for all we know, and yet he’s so offended by the return of the other son that he doesn’t even refer to him as his brother. We can be like that sometimes and refuse to accept an apology, or think that someone’s sin is too big to come back into the church, but this isn’t so. We have to be ready to accept the returning and repentant sinner just like the father in this parable did. See The Prodigal Son & His Brother for more