Okay, I have to admit…I had a hard time with the title of this post. Why? Because I have never viewed Luke 15:11-32 as the account of the prodigal son. First, that passage describes two wayward sons (in different ways), not just “the prodigal” who left. But more importantly, the lesson of the parable is about the loving father, not the wayward sons!
Stop and read that passage before we dive into it. (Go ahead…I’ll wait!)
So…don’t you agree? The focal point and the hero of the story is the father! He had one son who was blatantly rebellious, but he also had an older son who was blatantly self-centered!
Both were wayward, and I don’t know any honest Christian who cannot identify with characteristics of each of those sons. Let’s face it…in our humanness we are all rebellious and self-centered at times. But thankfully, we have a Heavenly Father who is the focal point and hero of our story as well! He doesn’t force us to do anything, but when we turn from our rebellion, repent of our sins, and look toward home, He is there with open arms and an embrace, and He restores us to our spiritual family!
We were lost, but have been found. We were dead, but have come back to life!
That’s the lesson we typically take from that passage in Luke. But, does the passage also speak to the church and Israel as the two wayward sons? Watch this short piece and mull it over for yourself!
Oh, what a gracious Father we have, and His grace reaches to depths we don’t even know we have. It also reaches in directions we have perhaps never considered. His love for Israel and His love for the church are demonstrated in this parable.
That’s why I call it the parable of the loving Father, rather than the prodigal son. Our Heavenly Father is our hero, and the One who is to be our focal point!