Luke 15:11-31, “12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood… 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’
The parable of the prodigal son is the most familiar of all Christ’s parables. It has more than one lesson if you study it carefully. The prodigal son is an example of sound repentance having lived a life of self.
To glean some truth from this passage, let us look at how his story begins. Vs. 12” And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me”. I find this request to be very strange and here is why, no one would ask for inheritance when the father was still alive. It is like asking for the will to be executed when the person who wrote the will is still alive. Is not this request by this young man suggests he wished his father was dead so as to gain his inheritance? It was like the father was taking too long to die and since he could not wait to get his hands on the inheritance (on the blessing), he chose to act now. The tragedy of today is that most want blessings now but do not want God of the blessings. This is the same picture of those who want to go to heaven not so that they can be with God and worship Him for eternity but that they would escape the nasty place called hell and not suffer there for eternity. This act also pictures all sinners (related to God the Father by creation), who waste their potentials, privileges and refuse any relationship with God, choosing instead a life of sinful self-indulgence suppressing truth in unrighteousness so as to get rid of the thought of God in their minds. If they have a god, it’s god in their making to suit themselves. Paul says in Romans 1:21-23, “21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things”
The root of all sin as well stated by John Wesley, is “… A desire of disposing of ourselves of independency on God”. The sin nature is to take off God’s hand of covering in our lives, our family, our nation only to leave us vulnerable to all attacks. The prodigal son went far away, eliminating that connection with his father that would allow protection, guidance, continued provision and most important, relationship. On 09/11/2001 that fateful day when two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in NYC claiming lives, the following few weeks many people returned to church and some even for the first time. Over 10 years later, many many people have forgotten God, stopped going to church, stopped seeking God’s blessings, guidance, wisdom, protection, and like the prodigal son gone far away from Him. In 2011, the mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg banned clergy and prayer at tenth anniversary commemoration ceremony of 9/11. This is a clear indication of not wanting God’s hands in the lives of people, government, nation etc,
How can we stand without the hand of God? And more so, do we want God more than we want His blessings? The question we each should wrestle with, “Is God an end or is He a means”? Do we love our freedom that we would choose to distance ourselves from Him even wishing He was dead whether we say it or not, or wished He did not exist to therefore live the way you want to? Now we may think this is applicable only to those who have not been saved, but come to think of it, we could have an idol in our own lives. What is an idol? Anything that takes precedence over your life in the place of God. Is your marriage, children, job, business your idol or is God supreme and sovereign over all? The prodigal son had a lifestyle he wanted to live and take precedence over his life, he therefore chose to go to his father and say “GIVE ME…”. I will share on his return to the father. May the Lord help us. Blessings Ev