The Lost Son II

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. ‘The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ ‘But the Father said to his servants, Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. Your brother has come, ‘he replied,’ and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. You never gave me a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this so on yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him?’ “My son, the father said, ‘you are always with me, everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'” (Luke 20-31)

The Father responds in a way that the younger son does not expect. He receives him back and lavishes him with a robe, ring, sandals, and a feast. These four things are a “sign of position and acceptance.” The best robe was most likely the Father’s. He not only gave him his robe but a ring. This was probably the families signet ring which was very valuable. The sandals signify that he is not seen as a slave, but a son. A feast happened to celebrate something important. This feast was for the son’s homecoming.

Next we see the how the older son responds to his brother coming back home. The older son was angry over how the Father responded to the younger son. He didn’t think it was fair. He had been faithfully serving his Father. Why didn’t he get special treatment like the younger son received? This is a picture of how the Pharisees viewed how Jesus treated those who were sinners. They were self righteous and didn’t see themselves as sinners too.

Which one of the characters in the story do you most relate to? Is it the Father (God), the younger son (sinners), or the older son (the Pharisees). Take some time to pray and ask God what he would like you to learn from this parable. Let’s not only understand the Word but seek to live it out today.


The Lost Son

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)