The Prodigal Son. Luke 15:11-32 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one sad to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. So they began to celebrate. “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called on of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ “My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
Jesus told this parable which is the story of a father’s love for his wayward son. The story is to illustrate a spiritual point which Jesus is using to teach us of God the Father’s love for each of us. While we are all sinners, as was the prodigal son, that God the Father is willing to accept us back, given the mistakes we have made.
This parable has a common theme with two other parables. Whether is was a lost sheep, a lost coin or a lost son, there is rejoicing when that which is lost is recovered. Also, in each parable there is also repentance. When the returning son said to his father: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.” The rejoicing that God the Father, and His spirit family, which includes the angels, desire to do is predicated upon repentance.
Because repentance is such an important subject for all who wish to be part of God’s eternal family, it is not surprising that Jesus included this teaching in the parable of the prodigal son and two other parables that precede it in Luke 15.
Jesus said that He came to reveal the Father, and the parable of the prodigal son does just that. We have a Heavenly Father who greatly desires for each of us to repent our sins so we can be part of His eternal family. The parable of the prodigal son is an amazing and wonderful story.
NO MATTER HOW FAR WE WANDER,
HE WILL ALWAYS RUN TO WELCOME US BACK.