“Parable: Prodigal Son; Loving Father”
Jesus tells this parable amidst remarks of the company he keeps ‘tax collectors and sinners’ and in doing this he also shares with his listeners as to who really needs to hear the story of and define who is lost.
A man has two sons- one content to remain at home and the other restless to see and experience the world using what would be his inheritance money. The younger son went away and squandered all he had in wild living. A famine came across the land and having nothing he needed to work. He was hired out and worked with pigs. Thinking on his new lot in life he ‘came to his senses’ and realized his need to return home. His father filled with love welcomed him home with loving arms and with a party. But his brother was not happy for when he heard from a servant that his father was throwing a party for his son which was now at home he became angry. He refused to attend the party even at his father’s request. This son would rather not have fellowship with his father than accept his father’s treatment of his brother. But he father’s love is because his is gracious and rejoices over the found son.
The loving Father God is gracious and rejoices over all his found children. God wants to have a party when each of his children return to him through faith. No matter what you have done, you can come home to God, be forgiven and God will celebrate in your being found again. God welcomes those who realize that they need Him and he welcomes them with outstretched arms, and shares in a celebration of love.
We do not know what happens with this family. Did the older brother to go the party? This is not shared because this is the question God sets before the Pharisees and us. Do we accept or reject God’s gracious treatment of the most unworthy of sinners in light of the fact that we need God’s grace? The possibility is that we can be in God’s fields as servants but not really in His house because we do not really know God as Father- who welcomes us and loves us.
Loving God- like a parent who kisses our wounds better, supports us when we are weak and guides us with wisdom, we come to you. We were lost but are not found in you as renew our faith and love for you. Call to me and I will follow. Speak and I will listen.
Love and I will love in return. Amen.
Quotes from Gary Inrig, “The Parables: Understanding What Jesus Meant” 1991.
The Prodigal Son is a favourite parable of the many that Jesus told. Often in the telling of this story the focus is on the younger son and the relationship with his loving father. As we think of the older brother’s feelings and not even being notified that his brother had returned, how do you think the brother felt about it all? How would you convince the brother to attend the party?