This is a quick little mid-week blog — because I started all wrong. The parable starts: Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons.” The man is a father of two sons, and the language is gendered. We’ve got three people.
“There was a man who had two sons.” We are already in the past — we already need to wonder if he still has two sons?
And, what is immediately missing — lost? — is the mother. If you have two sons, someone gave birth to them. The mother does not appear in this parable; and that might simply mean nothing at all. It might simply be a story about a man who had two sons. But this is the third of a serious of parables Jesus tells about lost/missing things/people.
So you have to wonder a little bit.