The parable of the prodigal son and the merciful father-A A +A
The Good News
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
THE Gospel in Luke 15:11-32 is a narration of one of the most popular parables of Jesus. Depending on whose perspective one is taking, it can be entitled as the “Parable of the Prodigal Son” or the “Parable of the Merciful Father.”
A father had two sons. Even while the father was still alive, his younger son asked him to give him his share of inheritance. So the father divided his property between his two sons. Bringing with him his share of the estate the younger son set off to a distant country, squandering his wealth on wild living. After having spent all that he had, famine struck the land. Finding himself in extreme poverty, he worked for one of the citizens in that country, feeding the pigs on the field. He was so hungry that he wanted to eat the pigs’ food, but nobody gave him anything. It was then that he recognized his pitiful state. His fathers’ servants had more than enough food to eat but there he was, almost starving to death. Then the best decision he had ever made was formed, “I will go back to my father.”
How similar to the life story of many of us! The father in the parable represents God, and the prodigal son represents all of us, sinners. While we were at peace with our loving Heavenly Father, we enjoyed the comforts of his household. There was no need -- be it physical or spiritual -- that he did not provide. He lavished us with his love.
But our rebellion has changed the story. Temptation set in and we were deceived by the devil to believe that life was much better outside our Father’s home. And so we left home. We turned our back from our Father’s love, unmindful that by so doing we broke his heart.
We wallowed in the quicksand of wickedness. Some we enslaved by drunkenness, others by fornication, adultery, immorality, gambling, and revelry -- the list can go on and on. Sooner did we realize that sin, after all, really never gave us the satisfaction we were looking for. The deeper we went, the more broken and lonely we became.
Then came the opening of our senses -- that the life we’ve left in our Father’s home was a much better life… that sin only led to emptiness and self-destruction… and that the devil had only stolen, destroyed or killed the joy that was once in us.
The prodigal son soon found his feet walking on familiar ground. Ugly, sad and devastated, he was going home to his father. From afar his father saw him. Filled with compassion, the old man ran to him, embraced him and kissed him. Feeling unworthy in the face of such an enormous love, the son, after admitting his sinfulness, begged that he be accepted again in his father’s house, even as a servant.
What did the father do? He clothed his returning son with the best robe, put a ring on his finger, and provided sandals for his feet. Not only that; he asked for the fattened calf to be butchered and for the whole household, including all the servants, to feast and celebrate.
It was the same thing that our Heavenly Father did when we made a decision to get out from the pig pen of sin and return to his fold. As we walked towards him, he ran towards us. As we repented for our sins, he was so compassionate and gracious to forgive us. As we were eaten up by self-pity, God restored us to who we really are -- sons of God who were cleansed by the blood of Jesus and clothed with the beauty, dignity, honor and holiness accorded to the children of the King.
Is anyone still living like the prodigal son? There is hope. Our merciful Father is waiting. Come to him. He will forgive any sinner who sincerely asks for forgiveness. He will wipe out all sins because Jesus paid it all on the cross. Accept his complete gift of salvation now. Accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 07, 2013.