Volume XIII Issue II Men of the Bible – Prodigal Son
Name: Prodigal Son
His Character: The Prodigal Son was rebellious, immature, extravagant, lavish, and wasteful. But, in the end, he came to himself and returned home.
His Sorrow: He squandered his inheritance and was forced to work for a farmer tending pigs or starve.<
His Triumph: He came to himself and was able to return home and be received by his father as a son.
Key Scriptures: Luke 15:11-32
Many of us are familiar with the story of the Prodigal Son. He was unnamed and featured in a parable told by Jesus. He was the younger son who arrogantly asked his father for his inheritance while his father still lived. This was paramount to telling his father he did not care if his father lived, and it was shameful to the family. As the younger son, his inheritance would have been about one third of his father’s estate. With a heavy and broken heart, the father gave the Prodigal Son his share.
The Prodigal Son then left his country and wasted his inheritance by living wildly, lavishly, and foolishly. His money soon ran out. When his money ran out, so did his newly acquired friends. Around this time, a famine hit the country he was living in. He got a job tending to the pigs in the field of a farmer. Pigs were considered unclean to Jews. Jews would not even touch pigs, so we can see how low the Prodigal Son had fallen. Times were rough. He was so hungry that he craved the food he fed to the pigs. At this time, the Prodigal Son came to himself. He remembered that even the servants in his father’s house had food to spare. Yet here he was dying of hunger. He decided to go home, ask his father for forgiveness, and plead to be hired as a servant
As if he was watching and waiting for the return of his Prodigal Son, the father saw his son returning! The father met the Prodigal Son with open arms, compassion, forgiveness, and unconditional love. The Prodigal Son’s return was celebrated with a feast, and he was restored to his rightful place as a son, regardless of the objections of his older brother who had stayed.
Sometimes we have to reach rock bottom before we come to our senses. Let us remember the story of the Prodigal Son and come to our senses before this point. God is patiently waiting for us. No matter how far from home we stray, God’s love will receive us when we return. And, as people return, don’t be like the older brother. Have we not all fallen short and are any of us so much better than anyone else? We should rejoice because we are witnesses to the unconditional love of the Father (the same love He would/does have for us)!
The story of the Prodigal Son is such a wonderful reminder of God’s unconditional love for us! No matter how far off track our immature and rebellious natures have taken us, God has always welcomed us back with open arms, forgiveness, and restoration, despite what anyone else may say, feel, or think. When we repent of our sins and come back home, God has a place for us at His table.
In the end, the story of the Prodigal Son is about sin, repentance, and a loving Father who is waiting for us to come to our senses and return home.