Just a final recap before we come to the end of this parable:
· The younger son demanded a share of his father’s property even while his father was still alive, left home and plunged himself into wild living in search for excitement and meaning in life.
· After splurging all he had on wild living, famine struck and he was reduced to a feeder of pigs when he decided to return to his father who welcomed him with open arms.
· The younger son was reinstated into the family and a big feast and celebration was held for his return.
· The older son was angry at the warm welcome given to the younger son of whom he deemed as unworthy and refused to join the celebration although the father pleaded earnestly with him.
The Prodigal God: Part 5 (Luke 15:11-31)
By Joanne Liaw Sook Ling (20th June 2012)
His father sighed and answered patiently
‘My dear son, you have always been with me
Everything that belongs to me is yours
But as for your brother who has been restored
He has returned home safe and sound
We should welcome him back with no disdain
For he was once lost but now he is found
He was once dead and is alive again.’
My dear readers, this is a tale of two sons, not one
It tells not only about ‘The Prodigal Son’
Both sons had their hearts fixed on the father’s things
They had no concern for their father’s feelings
The younger son obtained his father’s property
Through outward rebellion of ‘self-discovery’
The older son secured his father’s riches
Through half-hearted service and obedience
This story shows the heart of our heavenly Father
Whose tender love and care can compare to no other
Through Christ’s precious blood, our salvation he has bought
Extravagant in his grace, he is ‘The Prodigal God’
Points for Reflection:
In this parable, we see that it was not only the younger son who was lost but both sons had their hearts turned away from truly loving their Father. They had their eyes set on the materialistic blessings that they could get from their Father’s wealth and property.
The only difference is the way they sought to obtain those things. The younger brother got his share by being very rebellious and went on a journey into the world of self-discovery. The older brother kept all the rules and did everything his Father told him to do out of obligation.
There are some of us who can identify with either the younger or older son or perhaps with the both of them at different stages of our lives.
The word ‘prodigal’ means extravagant which is commonly used in a negative sense to denote the extravagance of the younger son in squandering his Father’s wealth on wild living. But if we use the word ‘prodigal’ in a positive way, we could turn our focus from the younger son to God who is extravagant in his grace to sinful people like us. This extravagant grace is clearly displayed on Calvary where Christ died an excruciatingly painful and agonizing death to set us free from the dominion of darkness so that we can be accepted into the family of God.
Just as the Father in this parable yearned for the return of his two sons, so does our Heavenly Father desire for our hearts to return to him. If your heart is still far away from him, why don’t you just turnaround, take that first step towards home and find comfort in the arms of The Prodigal God?