The Prodigal Son – Luke 15:11-32
The father (representing God) offers his son forgiveness in this well-known parable and tells the story of an ungrateful son who does the unthinkable.
The son (representing us, humankind) had asked for his inheritance before his father had even died.
The story tells of an amazing father who actually grants an unkind and selfish request.
The son takes his inheritance, leaves the family home and spends the whole lot on wild living.
Then in his poverty realises that he would actually have been better off at his father’s home after all – even if just as a servant. So he resolves to go home and beg forgiveness.
A father in any day and age could be quite reasonably expected to deal with such a son severely after such an escapade – if only it was a lifetime of ‘I told you so’s.
The Father Demonstrates God’s Grace and Mercy
But this father responds unexpectedly. He immediately offers forgiveness and boundless love, as well as great riches and his previous place back in the heart of the family. Demonstrating to the prodigal son, and everyone else, the boundless love that his father has for him.
The father did not have to give so much. He could have easily asked for justice, from a son who had betrayed and humiliated him. But instead, because the son returns acknowledging the error of his ways, he showers him with love and riches.
The father of course in this parable portrays the grace and mercy of god and shows that he forgives all who truly change their ways, however bad they might have been.
The ungrateful son portrays us – as self-centred humankind. The son did not deserve the father’s bountiful grace and love, and neither do we.
Perhaps today, we could pray for God’s forgiveness for any wrongdoings in our lives and, as the father of the prodigal son forgave, loved and welcomed him home, so may God in his Grace do the same for us.