Jesus went on to share another parable. “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all that he had, set off for a distant country and there he squandered his wealth on wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of the country, who sent him to his fields to feed the pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but not one gave him anything.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. (Luke 15:11-20)
Another name for the lost son would be prodigal. A prodigal is one who “spends their money or substance with wasteful extravagance.” This is exactly what the younger son does with his inheritance. He wastes it on wild living. He doesn’t just spend some of the money but he uses up all his inheritance. I wonder how long it took to burn through all that money. However long it took, he then found himself in great need. He had nothing left and there was a severe famine on top of that. “Without God, we squander our resources and energies till we are void and empty.”
The son then tries to find a job. The only job he could find was feeding pigs. For anyone, this would be a dirty job. For a Jew, it was even worse because pigs were seen as unclean. The son was so hungry that he wanted to eat the pods that he was feeding the pigs. This brought him to think about his father’s servants and how they were being treated. They had food to eat everyday.
The son’s idea was to go home, confess his sins and become a servant in his father’s home. So he journeyed back home. As he coming upon the property of his father’s, his dad saw him and came running. Before he could even say a word, the father hugs and kisses him! Oh what compassion and great love the father had for his son. He didn’t scold him or reject him, He instead receives him back from being lost to now being found!
What about you? How did the Father receive you when you were ready to confess your sinful ways? Take some time to journal about it and think through the ways he compassionately received you. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)