And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
Comment: Let’s deal with the first part of the story today. The father, who it’s not difficult to understand represents God, had two sons. This passage deals with the younger ‘naughty’ one.
- He chooses his share of the property, right now, rather than a father-son relationship and getting his inheritance later.
- He goes and wastes his portion on obviously questionable, but immediately gratifying, life style.
- He is left humiliated and doing what is repulsive to his background. A Jew feeding pigs and eating their left overs.
- At last he repents, and it’s real. He chooses to go back and plead a servant’s post not expecting to be a re-instated son.
- The father’s (God’s) joy and love for his repentant, returning son, leads to delight shown in an extreme welcome – he’s given a robe, a ring, shoes and a feast is prepared – he’s welcomed and re-installed as a son!
Can you not hear the laughter, the music, the joy ringing in your ears as you listen to the story? But where is the older son? Wait until tomorrow.
Prayer: If I have rebelled, help me to repent please.