The Parable Of The Prodigal Son
This is one of the most recognizable and applicable parables for today. It is easy to identify with. One purposely walks away from Father God and jumps into the world’s pleasures of sin.
Is it not remarkable that when one has an abundance of money to spend, he never realizes that he has so many “new friends” whom he never met? Once the money well runs dry, these so-called friends disappear as though he never existed. To be more specific, they are money-hungry enemies. A genuine friend will stick by a friend, whether rich or poor, on top of the world or at the bottom of the barrel. The book of Proverbs calls God this type of friend, “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
I pray you examine the contents of this parable very closely. They apply to you and your relationship with God. If you are considering walking away from God (and/or your parents), be very careful what lies ahead. It may be bad at home, but it is worse out there in the world. Ravenous wolves, used by Satan, will prey on you. What does a ravenous wolf want? A ravenous wolf wants what you got. Like a pack of wolves pursuing prey, they will stalk you. They will harass you. They will eventually wear you down. They want you to yield to the sin temptation they present. Then once you are too weary to go on, they will attack you. They will tear you to pieces. They want to seize your possessions and ruin your dignity. Then, they will abandon you in a heartbeat, the same way they abandoned the prodigal son.
The prodigal son became so poor and abandoned that he was forced to work in the mud pits with the pigs. Have you ever been or currently are there? I can relate. “Life with the pigs” is only a glamorous life for a pig. God’s children are not pigs. This is why the second part of the parable is important to focus on and have hope.
Notice that the father has never given up on his son. He has never written him off. He has always believed in him – because the boy is his son. This is true, genuine love. God the Father, through His Son Jesus’ death and resurrection, will always receive you back. Though your earthly parents may abandon you, your spiritual Father will always be there for you. This is the central theme of the Parable of The Prodigal Son. God the Father is always looking for your return. He cherishes and loves you more than you can ever imagine. Your return to His love and care brings the greatest joy to His heart. You are His daughter. You are His son. Never forget that. It is due only because of what Jesus did in your place. Your enjoyment in sin does not negate you from remaining God’s daughter or God’s son. God wants to restore you to relationship with Him.
Imagine being the prodigal son and coming back to the father. Picture yourself coming down the road and see the father’s motivation to welcoming you home. In this parable, the father initiates the restoration. The son is willing to be a servant, but the father would have none of it. This is his son and always will be. Picture yourself meeting your father upon your return. Receive your father’s love as Jesus describes it. Luke 15:20-24 “So he (you) got up and came to his father (God). But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And his son said to him ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine (you) was dead and has come to life again; he (you) was lost, and has been found.”
This is the depths of God’s love for you. Away from God, you are dead and lost. In His presence, you are full of life (Jesus’ life in you.) Meditate on the story frequently so the Holy Spirit can reveal how you can apply it to your current life. Come to Jesus. His open arms of love wait. Jesus opened his arms of love for you on the cross, to bring you from death to life. Will you now open your arms (like the prodigal son) and receive His love? Will you embrace Him?
In many ways, the father is the central figure of the story. Look at the impact you have on the father’s love. This is what Father God will do to you. You are so worth it. When the father saw his prodigal son, he:
1. Saw him a long way off.
2. Felt compassion for him.
3. Ran to him.
4. Embraced him.
5. Kissed him.
6. Put the best robe on him.
7. Put a ring on his hand.
8. Put sandals on his feet.
9. Put on a big celebration.
10. His dead son is alive again.
11. He was lost and is found.
This waits for you. Why continue to live among ravenous wolves? They will tear you apart. This deep, personal love can only come from God. The Father says to you, “Come home, my dear child. I love you. ”Hear his still, gentle voice calling you and come back. God will mold your heart into one like His.
Another important lesson to learn from this story is to avoid having the arrogance of the older son. He was so bitter that it blinded him from the true nature of his father. May we never become blind to our Father’s mercy and forgiveness when one of our “lost” brethren genuinely repents and returns to relationship with the Father.