In Luke 15 Jesus taught a couple of parables, including the prodigal son, to the listening crowd – “A parable is a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson.” He spoke in parables to get them to do some soul searching and thinking for themselves – like uncovering buried treasure. L
THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON
“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.” (Luke 15:11-13) So, of the TWO sons the younger brother went wild and even spent his entire inheritance on his young, foolish lifestyle.
Eventually he found himself penniless, miserable and longing for a bite to eat from outside the confines of the filthy pig pen.(thus the phrase “hog wild”.)
(Continuing on with the parable) “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.”
THE ONE WHO HIT ROCK BOTTOM
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants 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 servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.” (Luke 15:14-20)
First of all, he hit rock bottom, and from rock bottom the only view is UP. It would require humility and acceptance on his part to recognize his own failure. He had that AHA moment we all need to have, when we finally see our true nature. He decided he needed/wanted to go home. And he would humbly beg to be a servant for his father because surely he would not be accepted back as his SON. (Except that he was!)
“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 15:20-24) As the prodigal son approached the family homestead he saw his father running TO him! His father was tripping over his feet, laughing and crying and rejoicing – and had been waiting for his son to return. (As parents, wouldn’t we ALL feel the same?)
WHAT ABOUT ME?
This brings me to the OTHER part of the parable where there in the background we get to see the OTHER brother – the one who never strayed, never was foolish, and all his ducks remained in a row. Was HE happy to see his prodigal brother? Was HE rejoicing that the one who was lost was still alive? No. He was angry! I bet he was livid to see his dad put a ROBE on his brother and call for a party, complete with fattened calf to roast!
“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one 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!’
The older brother felt slighted, cheated, and – jealous. He made that whole situation about him!!!! ‘But dad – what about ME? I never ran off – never smoked pot – never partied – mowed your lawn – fed the cows ( okay, you get it…) but yet you lavish your love on THIS loser! You never threw a party for ME!”
And then the dad looks at his other son, with the SAME love in his eyes and says this – “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.” (Luke 15:31,32)
Salvation is still a gift to “whosoever will”, which is ALL of us. We all know (or if you don’t I’ll tell you ) – the father represents God and the 2 brothers? All of us can be either, or, and sometimes both.
Read more on the GOD TV blog here
Watch GOD TV here