Luke 15:17-20: “And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”
Jesus tells this story of a man who was discontent with the life he was living and wanted a new life. Therefore, he approached his father and asked him to give him his share of the inheritance. So out of love for his son the father split his livelihood and divided it among his two sons. One day the son ups, leaves, and decides to spend all that his father had given him on reckless and lewd living. After all the money was gone the son had nowhere to go so he got a job feeding a man’s pigs. He was so destitute that he was craving the food the pigs were eating because they were better off them himself. The young man finally come to his senses and realized that he had it better when he was at home with his father, so he humbled himself and carried himself back to the home of his father. When the father saw his son, who had been in a lost state, come back to his house he rejoiced and gave a huge party in honor of the fact that his once lost son, was now back and safe.
This story describes all who become Christians. We all have come from a “lost” state just like this young man. We have squandered all that God had given us. The mercy we have received is an example of His love toward us. The moment that we realize and come to our senses is the moment we receive God’s grace. The prodigal son is a picture of us and our desire to find pleasure and enjoyment outside of the Father. The rub comes when we realize that this world cannot fulfill our true needs and desires.
Each of us must make a decision. Do we pick ourselves up out of the pig trough and find real joy and peace at our Father’s house, in His arms, or do we continue in our own misery? This young man remembered all his father had done for him and how he had disrespected his father. Yet, there was a moment in his life when he realized that even the lowest position of his father servants was better then the life he was living.
When we truly realize what God has done for us, because we all at one time were a prodigal child, we can better understand the love and joy of the Father and not be hard hearted like His own brother who resented the fact that his once lost brother had come back. Remember to rejoice with those who God rejoices over.
Old Testament: 1 Sam 22-24 New Testament Luke 16:1-18