The Parable of the Lost Son
“A certain man had two sons. 12 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.13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.
14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want.15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “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! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you,19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
20 “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. 21 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.’
22 “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. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and
And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.
At the very beginning of the parable of the prodigal son, the younger son
came to his father and demanded his share of his inheritance. In the Jewish
culture, this was tantamount to the young man telling his father to “drop
dead.” He was effectively saying, “Give me my share of the inheritance right
now. I can’t wait for you to die.” It was a stinging slap on the face of his
father. The young man completely humiliated and dishonored his father by making such an insolent request.
We need to understand this because if we are unable to grasp the extent to
which this young man utterly rejected his father and chose his own way, we
cannot appreciate the extent of his father’s love and grace in receiving him
back home as his son.
Based on what you have just read, was it the son’s love for his father that made him journey home? Do you think for one moment that he was truly contrite? Or that he even cared that he had broken his father’s heart?
I think not! He was clearly motivated by his stomach. He wanted to go
home because he remembered that even the hired servants in his father’s
house had more food than he did!
The words that he planned to say to his
father—“I have sinned against heaven and before you”—was what he thought
would be the right dramatic, religious rhetoric to ensure that he would be
allowed some benefits for returning home. You and I know that he wasn’t
genuinely remorseful. What we are hearing is his stomach talking, not his heart.
So it wasn’t repentance that drove him home. It was his stomach and perhaps even his sense of pride that he deserved at least what his father’s
servants were getting.
Growing up, I would hear people teach about how the son repented and decided to go home to his father. The truth is there was no repentance here.
The young man began the trek home because he was starving. He was even prepared to go through the motion of saying words like, “I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants,” with the sole intention of getting his stomach filled since he had reasoned that the “hired servants have bread enough and to spare.”
He never expressed any love for the father or said that he missed his
father’s presence and love. This is important for us to note because God wants us to know that even when our motivations are wrong, even when we have a hidden (usually self-centered) agenda and our intentions are not completely pure, He still runs to us in our time of need, just as the father ran to the young man and showered upon him his unmerited, undeserved, and unearned favor.
Oh, how unsearchable are the depths of His love and grace toward us! It
will never be about our love for God. It will always be about His magnificent
love for us. The Bible makes this clear: “Herein is love, not that we loved
God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins”
(1 John 4:10 KJV).
The hero in this parable is the father. It’s about the father’s perfect love for his imperfect son.
When I was reading this in the morning, from a book called The Power of right believing by Joseph Prince, it really touched my heart and i was compelled to share this truth with all mg lovelies as part of my series called My Abba’s heart.
I hope this blesses you and leads your hearts to repetance (which means change your mind) to Daddy God. Stay in peace and always remember that you are deeply loved, greatly blessed and highly favoured.