Of all the parables, few are better known than the parable of the prodigal son. It is the story of men’s frailty and the love of our Heavenly father. As the story unfolds, an impetuous and selfish young son took his inheritance and left home. He squandered the money and then fell into poverty and despair. In a moment of lucidity, the prodigal decides to go back to his Father and work for Him. When the prodigal returned, he was met by a Father that loved him, and forgave his sin, restored his life, and celebrated the return.
Next, we see the prodigal had a brother that was left behind to pick up the pieces. the brother watched the Father endure pain and worry caused by the prodigal’s departure and absence. In addition, the brother assisted the Father in the work of rebuilding and maintaining their home and business and he remained faithful.
When the prodigal returned and all seemed forgotten, the brother was bitter and felt abandoned. Hadn’t he been faithful, hadn’t he done everything he was supposed to? Why then was the celebration for the brother that failed? As the brother sat alone in the garden sad and bitter; the Father came and loved on the elder brother. The Father recognized the brother’s faithfulness and promised to reward it. But, for this day, the celebration of the return and life of His brother was the right thing for both Father and brother.
God reveals several great truths in this story.
First, God the Father loves us. whether faithful or fallen, He never gives up or turns away from those that seek Him. He adores His faithful ones, and all He has is theirs. He also has plenty for those who fall completely on their face, but then repent and return. That is what makes our Heavenly Father so amazing. God wipes the slate clean and allows a fresh and full start.
Second, when we fall away and fall apart, if we will confess and return, the Father will accept us back with open arms of love and forgiveness. He is the God of another chance. He wants our devotion, and He will love us through any trial or temptation. It is critical, however that we return. We must recognize where we have fallen and return to the Father on His terms.
Finally, God never forgets His faithful ones. He will celebrate the ones that return, and rightly so. Remember, however, He never forgets those that stay and follow faithfully. The Lord reminds them that all He has is theirs. He reminds them, they need not fear, they too can celebrate repentance and restoration.
As we face this chaotic world, we need to pray for revival, and, as God answers that prayer, we must welcome back all that return and celebrate the victory with our Heavenly Father.
God Bless You
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “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! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 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.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “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. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 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.’”