The Prodigal Son
11 Then He said, “A certain man had two sons. 12 The younger of them [inappropriately] said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that falls to me.’ So he divided the estate between them. 13 A few days later, the younger son gathered together everything [that he had] and traveled to a distant country, and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and immoral living. 14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to do without and be in need. 15 So he went and forced himself on one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 He would have gladly eaten the [carob] pods that the pigs were eating [but they could not satisfy his hunger], and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he [finally] came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough food, while I am dying here of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] treat me like one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe [for the guest of honor] and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand, and sandals for his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let us [invite everyone and] feast and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was[as good as] dead and is alive again; he was lost and has been found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his older son was in the field; and when he returned and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he summoned one of the servants and began asking what this[celebration] meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But the elder brother became angry and deeply resentful and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he said to his father, ‘Look! These many years I have served you, and I have never neglected or disobeyed your command. Yet you have never given me [so much as] a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this [other] son of yours arrived, who has devoured your estate with immoral women, you slaughtered that fattened calf for him!’ 31 The father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But it was fitting to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was [as good as] dead and has begun to live. He was lost and has been found.’”
This story has always being considered as the story about God’s Love for humanity. How He doesn’t care how far and how long you’ve gone from Him and He’s forever waiting to welcome you when you return to Him, ready to throw a party for your sake. The Love of God for his creatures especially humans is beyond what words can say. I mean He Loves us so much that He created us in His image and called us very good. He could’ve chosen to make us dogs or cats or probably place our nose where our butt is and place our butt where our nose is. I guess that would be a funny and scary creature to behold. But He chosed to make us as He is, creative as He is, wise as He is, beautiful as He is, courageous as He is, strong as He is, has dominion as He is, and Loving as He is. He took His time to knit us together in our mother’s womb and takes His time to know the number of hairs on our head. Wow! That’s really captivating. You mean as I comb my hair and loose some of it, He knows the number of them; both the ones present and the ones lost? This God must be really Caring. He sure is. Wait till I tell you more about Him. As big as the world is with over 7.125 billion people in it, He cares about everyone of them. His precious thought of them is as countless as the sand on the seashore. You mean He thinks about me too? Yes He does. He takes care of all His creatures. He waters the flowers of the fields, He feeds the birds of the air, He provides food for the lion and the beers and You! Oh, you are His favourite. He’s so compassionate towards you, and also gracious. He’s not a wicked Father. He’s a Loving, slow to anger and faithful father.
Now let’s talk about the parable of the “Prodigal son”. What God made me to understand beyond the parable is what I want to share with you all today…………………. the younger son asked the father for the share that falls to him. The father would’ve objected to his request but he didn’t. He willingly divided the estate between him and his elder brother and gave him his portion. Note, the man had only two sons and the father divided His wealth between them. That means the eldest son also got his share but unlike the younger brother who left, he stayed with his father. The younger son travelled to a distant country and there he wasted all his wealth in reckless and immoral living. Why just immoral and reckless living? First of all, he was young and ambitious. This parable was speaking about a generation where youths are super ambitious, heedless, headstrong and rash. They are indifferent about danger and its consequences. What plagues most youth today is the struggle with reckless and immoral living. We now have youths who will brag about how much they spent drinking alcohol and can’t help a friend who’s so in need. How much they bought a pair of pants, wrist watches or sneakers and can’t help a kid sister out with some change. Youths who brag about being chased by women and not them chasing the women. Youths who brag about how many women or men they had sex with or how much drug they took to get high….. these was the kind of life this young man was into.
The time he should be in need finally came. I used the word “should” because there comes a time in the life of every young girl or boy out there when he or she is no longer satisfied with mom and dad’s love, where he or she wants to do things by his or herself when they need friends outside the home and sometimes the ones the parents won’t approve, a time they want to be in charge. Well, this young dude was in that position when the economy of the country he was in crashed. He forced himself into what he was instructed from childhood not to do. From all indications, this young man was a Jew and the Jews are not friendly when it comes to swins because they are considered unholy creatures. This young lad was pressed into feeding swins……….. Now this is what God revealed to me. The process of the son going away was only given a little touch but what he went through and how he bent down to do the very thing he didn’t want to do was covered. People go through terrible stuffs and most times the situations of life makes them do the very thing they would never in their lives do, not even in their dreams. Most times these things are disgusting to the society but because the society don’t know and don’t care how these class of people arrived where they are now, they end up being judgemental. He’s gay and i hate gay. She’s a lesbian and I’ll disown my daughter if she becomes one. He/she is a drunkard, why on earth would he/she do that? He/she is a drug addict I’m glad I’m not like that, I’d rather die than be a drug addict. The period between the time of struggle and pains is always filled with memories that are sometimes hard to forget. Most times what we go through in life are not what we bargained for but because life has a way of messing things without our permission things happened the opposite way. We are created to help one another no matter who you are but because some memories still stick to people’s heart, we now have people who will confidently pray like the Pharisee saying “Lord I thank you, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector!” I don’t have tattoos, I pray 3 times a day, I fast twice a week, I pay my tithe, I give my offering, I don’t jump up and down during worship because its a solemn time, I don’t shout during the worship like sister Jane does because that’s a childish thing to do……….
Well, we can keep going on and on but I’m not here to point out errors. You might have no human effort to help you out of that life induced problem but there’s a supernatural effort that’s way higher and effective more than you can ever imagine in your entire life. The fact is, God has always and is still drawing people to Himself…….. The desire to return or the young man coming to his senses was not his own idea……. It emanated from the deep Love the father has for his son. How much he misses him, when they walk on the field, when they play on the feed, when he jumps on His back and whispers in His ears “I Love you Daddy”, when He checks up on him at night just to tell him I Love you son”, He misses his childs embrace. So, whenever the father looks into the empty room of His son and his heart goes to His son, there’s a trigger that hits him in that far country gradually. I used the word “gradually” because the bible said “when he finally came to his senses ” meaning the knock on his heart started long before that very day he decided to come to a conclusion. He might’ve being saying “I’m not returning home; I’m a big boy and big boy’s don’t return to their vomit, big boy’s stick to their plans, big boy’s bear the pains to get the gain; they go Mmmmm! To absorb the pain. Big boy’s don’t need Daddy’s help, they figure things out for themselves. When the misile -like thoughts of the father heated up in his heart, he finally decided to come to a conclusion and say like the four lepers in the days of Elisha “why sit we here till we die…..?” He told himself “boy if you remain here, you’re going to die; even the slaves in your father’s house are living far better than I my father’s son!
The next word he said was “I will get up”. Why does he need to get up? He needed to get up because the situation has pressed him down, guilty conscience has taken all of thoughts, the feeling of being low and of no value has crumbled him and so he needed to rise up from where he used to be to the level he can approach his father if not as a son but as a slave. Moreover, he proposed to say to his father “I have sinned against heaven and against you” that’s a very powerful statement right there. He’s saying I have lost my position as a Prince which represents honour, height, above and not beneath. And I have lost my position as a Son, just accept me as your slave. Well planned speech I’ll say…………….. And so, he set out to return to his father. The trigger-thoughts of Love from the father pushed him and drew him to his father. But while he was rehearsing his lines and making sure his father will accept him as a slave so he won’t have to starve anymore because that was the only thing he could think off. His father saw him from afar off and was moved with “COMPASSION” for him and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
You could see here that the father was expecting him to return because he already triggered it all. We can say the father masterminded everything just to have his son in his arms. He hugged him because He has missed him so much. He kissed him to restore him as a son. As the son was presenting his rehearsed speech which he hopes will grant him the position of a slave in his father’s house, the father interrupted the speech before he could ask to be treated as a slave. He ordered one of His servants to bring out the best robe and put it on him and give him a ring for his hand and a sandal for his feet. The new robe which represents the Righteousness of God, a new kind of life that fits him to sit at table with his father. He must’ve being looking ragged and tattered. The ring which represents authority which automatically transforms him to a Son. The sandals for his feet which represents a new walk and a new direction. No doubt he must’ve returned barefooted.
The amazing thing about this parable is that the father didn’t engage the son with how he spent his portion or how rough the past was. I asked myself why? The reason he didn’t ask him was because he knew already. He was once a teenager like his son and he knows what it means to be away from home. And also because He doesn’t care about the past. He’s got a new future created for the child. It wasnt a coincidence He made all these decreas. He got it all planned out. He went further and ordered for the fattened calf to be slaughtered and every one should be invited and a feast should kick off right away. This is thesame way God feels when one of His child returns to Him. Angels rejoice in heaven, nature join to give God glory. The river clap their hands the ocean makes joyful noise, the birds sing for the return of a child to his/her rightful place with God. While the son was bordered about the past, the father proclaiming the future. While you are bordered about how deep you’ve gone in your faults and how God can not accept you as His child let alone forgive you your sins, God’s arms are outstretched waiting to embrace you and give you the life He created for you to live and honour His name. Just when the son thinks the decrea was over, the father made a confirmation statement…. “this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost but has been found”. In other words, this son of mine lost his place of relationship, his place of sonship but today as his dad, I’ve restored him to his rightful place with Honour. He was far from me for this year’s he wandered off but today I have drew him closer so we could both have the bound of a Father and son from now onward.
The eldest Son was mad at the decision of his father. And was ready to stay away from the scene of the celebration but he could still here the sound. But another amazing thing happened again. The father who is impartial in His Love for his sons left the celebration venue and came to him and was pleading with him to come join the life celebration. But it seems the eldest Son was also concerned with the past like his younger brother even though he was living with his father. He was complaining of the past. How he served faithfully and was obedient all through but his dad could not spare him even a goat to go have fun with his friends (same youthful exorbitant in his younger brother) and then he made a segregational statement “but this son of yours……” meaning he’s now your favourite son, and put aside his brotherly love for him. The fattened calf has being kept for a particular day of celebration but that very day, the father broke all existing protocols surrounding the calf for the return of his child. The father broke the barrier again, same way he did for his younger brother. He reminded him of his position as a Son and how everything He’s got belong to him. He called him “Son”. I believe that one statement gladdings the heart of the son. And then he went further to break the segregational burial the son created between himself and his brother. He said “this brother of yours………” he might’ve messed uo but he’s still your brother. After this statement, I believe he went in with his father to join his brother for the celebration……….
Likewise, this is how God is. He so Loves you that if you were the only one on planet earth, and you messed up, He would’ve died to save you. He won’t leave you ever…… He won’t abandon you ever. He won’t forsake you, no way no how, He will help you always. He will exalt you and lift you up at just the right time. He will hold your hand in hard times He will. He will guide you every day. Stop worrying, stop trying, stop striving just come. You can trust His Love. It never fails and never runs dry. He loves you when you’re at your worse, He loves you in your darkest hours, He loves you when others walk away, He loves you when you mess up, He loves you morning, noon and night.