The Parable of the Lost Son
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. But when he came to himself, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.' And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry.
Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.' But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.'
And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.'
we know that the story of the prodigal son is a parable meant to illustrate the way the Father welcomes in us, he lost and rebellious children-and i believe that this is the prevailing theme in this story. it is almost always better and more profitable to dwell on how God's word illustrates HIS character rather than try to find ourselves in it. however, i was listening to a message on philemon and how the story of philemon, onesimus, and paul illustrates the relationship between God, us, and Jesus our mediator-which is an avenue i am sure i will explore later- and realized that i have not truly examined how like the prodigal son we are. we accept that he represents humans but don't look too closely at the details.
the 'prodigal' portion of the story is relatively short but here's a list of his actions:
-requested his promised inheritance early
-left the service of his father
-wasted the gift of his father
-indulged in prodigious living
-when the world ceased to fill his want, he left it
-he attempted to provide for himself by partnering with the world
-he longed for even the obvious filth of the world
-he realized his want
-he remembered the provision of his father
-he longed for even less than what was earlier promised him
-he returned to the father
-he realized his evil
-he humbled himself to beg for forgiveness and provision
...to be continued...