The Prodigal son
The story of the Prodigal Son, also known as the Parable of the Lost Son, follows the parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin. Jesus is responding to the Pharisees’ complaint: “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Jesus tells the story of a man who has two sons. The younger son asks his father to give him his portion of the family estate as an early inheritance. Once received, the son promptly sets off on a long journey to a distant land and begins to waste his fortune on wild living. When the money runs out, a severe famine hits the country and the son finds himself in dire circumstances. He takes a job feeding pigs. He is so destitute that he even longs to eat the food assigned to the pigs.
The young man finally comes to his senses, remembering his father. In humility, he recognizes his foolishness, decides to return to his father and ask for forgiveness and mercy. The father who had been watching and waiting, receives his son back with open arms of compassion. He is overjoyed by the return of his lost son! Immediately the father turns to his servants and asks them to prepare a giant feast in celebration.
Meanwhile, the older son is not one bit happy when he comes in from working the fields and discovers a party going on to celebrate his younger brother’s return. The father tries to dissuade the older brother from his jealous rage explaining, “You are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”
In normal settings inheritance is received at the death of a father, a son asking for his own share of his inheritance while the father is still alive is against tradition, irresponsible, immature, rebellious and rude, showing disrespect to the father. It is against the Jewish tradition to touch pigs. When the son took a job feeding pigs, even eating their food, it shows that he had fallen so low. This son represents a person living in rebellion to God. Sometimes we really wander away before we come to our senses and recognize our sin.
The father is a picture of the Heavenly Father. God waits patiently, with loving compassion to restore us when we return to him with humble hearts. He offers us everything in his kingdom, restoring full relationship with joyful celebration. He doesn’t even dwell on our past waywardness.
It is pertinent to note that the moment the father saw his sons repentant heart before the son could even ask for forgiveness while he was still a long way off and the father saw him coming, filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son embraced him and kissed him. The son had not even asked for forgiveness before the father received him.
It shows the love the Father has for us as his children though sometimes we fall astray. Its sad how so many Christians who stray away from the path of life, suffer from so much condemnation and do not run straight back to the Father, and when they eventually do they think they have to start all over again and they eventually find their way down to the altar making the decision for salvation all over again. God expects us to run back to Him just like the prodigal son when we have strayed from the path of life and He will gladly welcome us back. Today relationship is often mistaken for fellowship they are two distinct things. For example even if you do not communicate with your biological father for a year, that is you have broken fellowship from him it doesn’t change the fact that he is still your father he remains your father. The prodigal son broke fellowship with his father but relationship was not broken. That is how it is with our heavenly Father; even though fellowship is broken relationship is not broken. God loves you so much nothing can change that.
We see that the older son is clearly a picture of children who in their self-righteousness, they have forgotten to rejoice when a sinner returns to God. Bitterness and resentment keeps the older son from forgiving his younger brother. It blinds him to the treasure he freely enjoys through constant relationship with the father.
written by: Jojo