THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON
6 months ago Evangelical Ministry 0
This parable is only recorded in the Gospel of Luke 15:11-32. It can also be called the parable of the Lost son, the parable of the Loving father or the parable of forgiveness.
In this parable, the younger son is seen as the gentiles (those who don not know God or the laws), they ‘re the rest of the world except the Jews. While the older son represents the Jews (Those who claim to know God).
This parable can be seen also in a different way. The younger son as “all sinners” and the older son as the “self righteous people”.
However, the background of this parable can be taken bit by bit.
From verse 11-12, the younger son approached his father for his own share of the properties. Asking the father for his portion at his young age is an error. (Deut. 21:18-21) – In Israel, such act or demand attracts death penalty. In verse 13, the father gave him his request, meaning that sometimes, God allows us to do certain things, probably to teach us a lesson. In verse 18-19, we saw servants who were feeding well compared to the son. These are those who faithfully serve God. In 21-22, there was a command to cloth him, put sandals on him and put a ring in his finger, the ring means that the father was restoring his sonship. Forgiveness comes with restoring the original state of the pre-existing relationship. In verse 23, a fattened calf was killed to celebrate his return. This is how the Angels celebrate the redemption of any soul who turned from evil to righteousness.
Memory Verse – Luke 15:18
The Message from this memory verse is that we are no longer hooked by law but saved by Grace.
Just like the prodigal son, most of us leave our rightful place with the Father in search of the worldly enjoyment. More often than not, this journey ends up in total disappointment as the allures and pleasures that the world promises are all false.
Lessons from the parable of the prodigal son:
The lessons have been categorized into three;
A. The prodigal son
1. When we choose our way over Gods ways, we become enslaved to our fleshly and worldly desires and most times we end up in filth, guilt and regret (John 8:34).
B. The older son
2. He represents those of us who consider themselves saved and are demanding God’s choicest blessing without making any effort to evangelize to others.
3. We are unqualified to boast of our righteousness because we are only saved by grace. Whatever righteousness we think we have acheived by our strenght is filthiness before God.
C. The Father
4. When someone offends us, all we need to do is to forgive.
5. If we find ourselves in a position of authority we should be kind rather than insist on power, or insist on reward and punishment.
Frienship with the world is enmity with God. We become prodigal when we desire the things of the flesh. Let our lives be guided by the two great commandments summerised by love, as it is one of the three things that will survive in the end (cf. 2 Cor. 13:13).