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."
Points of Interest from the Story:
• Typically, a son would receive his inheritance at the time
of his father’s death. The fact that the younger brother instigated the early
division of the family estate showed a rebellious and proud disregard for his
father’s authority, not to mention a selfish and immature attitude.
• Pigs were unclean animals. Jews were not even allowed to
touch pigs. When the son took a job feeding pigs, even longing for their food
to fill his belly, it reveals that he had fallen as low as he could possibly
go. This son represents a person living in rebellion to God. Sometimes we have
to hit rock-bottom 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
• Reading from the beginning of chapter 15, we see that the
older son is clearly a picture of the Pharisees. 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
They are so
many in the world who have missed their tracks have to return to the father. These
story heard by every one time to time but is still reflects the fact of
returning son to his father
Are we one of
them? Who have to return?