Sunday, July 15, 2012

Prodigal Son Parable - The Son Who Ran Away

"Jesus continued: 'There was a man who had two sons.  The younger one said 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."  Luke 15:11 - 24

What an amazing parable and how true it is in our modern life.

Have you ever seen a pig in real life? - I'll admit that piglets are very cute but have you ever seen them eat?  Words can't describe what a mess it is and the sounds that they make while eating - YUK!  Just imagine being so low in life that you desire the food that pigs eat - that is the lowest of low.  The youngest son in this parable found himself in that exact situation.  

How many times in our society  have you heard of a wealthy celebrity squandering all of their money only to become destitute? - I can't even count how many times I've heard of that happening (OK - not literally living with the pigs but still similar to this parable).  

I believe that this parable symbolizes our spiritual life and that we all must come to this lowly point in our soul before we realize that Jesus is the answer and the only way!  Not only must we realize this but we must go to our Heavenly Father and confess our sins - just as the youngest son did in this parable.  Notice in this parable: the son first said to himself "I will say to my father I have sinned against heaven and against you."  Then he had to act and go to his father and then when he saw his father in person - he again repeated to him directly "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you."  First came the decision then came the action.  It's the same in our real life - we come to the decision and then pray and ask our Heavenly Father to forgive our sins. 

I also find if very interesting that the father in this parable was looking for his son - "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" (I think that is my favorite line in this scripture).  The father had never given up hope that his son would return - he was always searching for him and saw him long before the son reached his father's home.

Coming to the Truth can be very difficult but in the end the "Truth will set you free."  Our Heavenly Father has prepared a heavenly celebration for us - all we have to do is go to God in prayer and ask for forgiveness.

1 comment:

  1. I like this story because of the self-less-ness of the father. He was not self-centered by focusing on what his son had done to him, though he may have felt sorrow from time to time as a result. None of us wants to be hurt over and over again by the same person. But whatever the situation and however we feel it is best to handle it, love has at the heart of it the ability to be able to put aside what someone did to us.

    Thanks Angie for a good lesson.


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