OK, I identify with the prodigal. I have sown more than my share of “wild oats” for one lifetime. I have experienced the “fleeting pleasures of sin.” I have felt the pain of emotional separation from my heavenly Father by my own choosing but fortunately though I lost track of Him, he never lost track of me.

Because of my “prodigal testimony”, I tend to see the passage in Luke 15:11-32 from the point of view of the wayward younger son who’s loose living brought him to a rock bottom standstill, far from the safe and secure home that he had left behind.

(Notice though that Jesus never calls this the story of “The Prodigal Son”. That’s what we in the Church have named it, and wrongly so, in my humble opinion.)

Let’s not forget, there is also the prodigal son’s prodigal brother.  The older one who always colored inside the lines in third grade. Milked the cows in fifth grade without complaint. He was the model son if ever there was one.

Perhaps you identify with his childhood experience. He was a “pleaser.” Doing what he was told was his specialty. He was really a trustworthy guy who never stayed out past curfew.

However as we read on in the story, we find that he had become smug, self-righteous and unhappy with his brother’s return home and his Father’s celebratory response.  Check out verse 28.

 “The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen. The son said, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’ Luke 15:28 (The Message).

I propose for the sake of conversation, that we rename the parable if only to put the emphasis where it belongs. If your bible has a little sub heading just above this story called “The Prodigal Son”, you might want to make a mental note.  This story perhaps could be more aptly called  “The Gracious Father.”

The main point of one of Jesus’ most renowned parables is not about human failing, but rather it’s an account of our heavenly Father’s gracious heart of love and reconciliation.

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8.

If you’re trying to find your way “home” at this time in your life, his arms are wide open and fully extended toward you. The next move is yours.

Praying that you’ll spring into summer knowing his great love for you!

tim

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One Response to "Rethinking the prodigal son"

  • Sally Robinson says:

    I heard the “Father is the prodigal (lavish) one” teaching 20 years ago – and it began to WOW me. I’m still letting that sink in 🙂

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