The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Part I)

Jesus told a story of two sons who both did not see the father’s heart at the beginning. They each had a heart condition that needed to be resolved before they could truly enjoy the blessings of the Father’s love.

Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. Luke 15:11-16

The above story of the father and the two sons is the story of some people in the body of Christ. The scripture does not tell us that the father had any particular shortcomings. It wasn’t anything that the father did that caused his two sons not to have the right picture of him. This is also true about our heavenly Father. Many people do not have the right picture of the Lord, and they see Him very differently than the truth about Him.

The younger son wanted to live an independent life apart from his family, so he asked his father to give him his portion while his father was alive. His actions show a callousness of heart towards his father. The wealth was supposed to get passed on after the father departed not while he was still living. However, the younger so didn’t care if his father had to face hardship and sell some of the properties for the son to get the goods he demanded. Furthermore, the younger son wanted the privilege of his father’s wealth without the responsibility of being a son to his family.

There are young people in our midst who also operate selfishly. They want the blessing of their family’s prayer, covering, and wealth, but they do not want their ways. They want to do their own thing and not be bound by any rules and responsibilities. If they are in trouble or have a need, they don’t have a problem asking the parents for prayer or some cash, but they don’t want to be preached to. They also don’t care what caused their parents to be blessed and to be in the position of stability that they are. They just want to use their wealth for their pleasures and their ideas of life.

It wasn’t until the younger son hit rock bottom that he began to question his choices while away from his father. His father did not chase him or try to change the son’s mind about his choices. He stayed where he was and remained in the posture of faith. It was the son who had decided to walk away from the family and to find happiness in the world.

The scripture tells us that the younger son began to be “in want.” His needs brought him to his senses. People tend to be proud and selfish when things go their way and think they don’t need God or others. The place of want and need is the place of humility. Without humility, people will not able to experience the restoration God desires in their lives. When the younger son humbled himself and returned to his father’s house, the father was ready to accept him with open arms. The scripture does not tell us how long it took for the younger son to come to his senses. It could have been years, but the father never lost hope. At the same time, he did not seek him out until the son was ready.

Many of us came to our senses because of our needs. If we want to see our family members and friends commit or recommit their lives to Jesus, we need to give them room to be in want. Some people will have to experience the lack and the want before they allow the Lord to touch their hearts and show them the error of their ways. It is very difficult to let someone you love be in want,  but sometimes it is very necessary! We need God’s grace to help us show self-restraint and not to enable or chase a person who is not ready.

Image by Juderis from Pixabay

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