Parable Of The Prodigal Son And His Brother

Bible Event – Jesus’ Life

Jesus told the Parable of the Prodigal Son:

Prodigal Son sitting beside pigs

There was a father who had two sons. One day one of the sons asked for his inheritance, half of the family’s estate. His father obliged and the son went off to another country where he lived the ‘good life’ and squandered all his money.

A famine hit the country and the son, with nothing left, hired himself to work on a farm, feeding pigs. The son would have happily eaten the pig’s food but it was not offered to him.

Prodigal Son's Father running towards him

Finally, the son came to his senses. He returned home and his compassionate Father, seeing him a long way off, ran to meet him. The son said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son”. The Father hugged his son and kissed him. He then ordered his servants to bring the best robe, put a ring on his finger, sandals on his feet and kill the fattened calf to eat and celebrate, “because this son of mine was dead, and is alive again – he was lost and is found”.

While this was all happening, the older son was in the field and as he returned to the house, he heard the music and dancing. So, he called a servant who told him his brother had returned and his father had killed the fattened calf to celebrate.

The older son grew very angry and refused to go inside. His father came out and begged him but he answered, “Look! These many years I have worked like a slave for you, and I never disobeyed your commands. Yet you never gave me even a goat so that I could celebrate with my friends! But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your assets with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!”

His father replied, “Son, you are always with me, and everything that belongs to me is yours. It was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost and is found”. (Luke 15:11-32)

Thought

This is one of the best-known parables in the New Testament. It has a message for everyone and often the message changes as our lives change.

In our youth, we may think we are like the son who wanted to enjoy the good life. Amazingly, this loving father divided the family inheritance and gave half to his son without objection; despite possibly knowing, he would squander it and commit serious sin.

When we have families of our own, we may see ourselves as the older son who stayed at home; hard working and wise but perhaps angry at those who enjoy the good life and seem to take everything that happens in our world for granted.

Finally, when we grow old we may aspire to copy the father’s actions; guiding and supporting but most of all, waiting and welcoming our children back to the family home even if they have gone astray.

Quote: Freedom of Choice

Our Heavenly Father is like the father in this parable. He gives us the freedom to do as we wish, to make our own decisions. Yes, many of us make terrible mistakes. However, He waits, knowing that all paths will ultimately return to him.

Reflection

Where are you, on your life journey? Have you found God our Father’s true and everlasting love yet?

Prayer: Grace To Forgive

Lord Jesus, grant me the strength to forgive.
Purify my heart and mind.
Bestow your grace on my weaknesses and failings.
Open my life to your true and endless love. Amen.