The prodigal son
Luke 15:11-13 “Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger 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 he had, set off for a distant country and there he squandered his wealth in wild living.”
Extra Reading: Luke 15:11-32.
As his custom, Jesus places his emphasis on attitudes. A look at the attitudes of each of the involved persons will help us to understand what Jesus intended his listeners to learn from the parable. This parable is sometimes called the parable of the Father’s love. The father was obviously a loving person who gave his son freedom to choose-even when he made the wrong choice. He continued to show unconditional love to his son, accepting him back, forgetting the past. The unconditional love of the father lightened the hardship of the son’s sorrow, opened the doors of hope for his return, showed the way and made the repentance process easier. This parable tells us not only about a father’s love. Christ presents it in an excellent picture of how a person responds to love, shown to him by our heavenly Father, God.
The younger brother’s actions revealed a person who was basically selfish. He was unconcerned for his father’s feelings or his own responsibilities as the member of the family. In Jewish culture, the father might divide the inheritance but had a full right to keep the income from it until his death. For a son to ask for full rights to the inheritance and its income while the father was still living was to express that he considered his father as dead. The son’s selfishness was shown in his squandering his wealth without concern for how hard his father had worked to earn that money. Nor did he stop to think that his absence would mean that his brother would have to work much harder. Parents often favour the older son, whose actions seem more decent to them. In this incident, the older brother worked hard and never left the family as his younger brother did, and showed responsibility. Nevertheless, the elder brother was also self-centred. He did not show concern for the suffering of his father or for his lost brother.
Prayer: Father God, please correct my attitude toward the lost. Help me not to despise them and be judgmental to anyone. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!
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