The Parable of the Prodigal Son

There was a father who lived in a big house, and enjoyed a very luxurious and happy life. He was blessed with two sons, and he loved them very dearly, having raised them with joy from when they were little newborns.

However, as his sons grew, they began to look out into the world around them, and see the things that were happening. They looked at the lives of the people around them, and the youngest son- Louis- in particular became quite enamored by the lives of those people. He saw them going about their business, seemingly enjoying their lives and living a life free from all the rules that his father had lovingly put in place for him.

Louis looked at his friends lives, day after day, and explored his fantasies of living free from his fathers rules in his head, enjoying the release it provided for him. Some days, he would come home quite upset to his father, and ran to his room to avoid his father’s attention- how could his father keep him so caged? This sure didn’t feel like love to Louis.

Eventually, as Louis grew older, he became more learned in the ways of the world and his ambitions became more matured- he wanted to free himself from his father, and live life his own way. He fully believed he was capable of proving to his father that he knew better, and that the rules were absolutely useless! As each day wore on, he held harder onto the thought of leaving his father’s house.

And then one day, he approached his father. Louis’ father stood there in shock, as Louis boldly asked for his inheritance in advance. Louis didn’t enjoy it one bit, there was a sour feeling in his mouth. His father left stone-faced, as he gathered up the inheritance that was supposed to eventually belong to Louis, and wept in silence for a bit. Inheritance was money to be passed on after a fatherhad died- in essence, Louis had claimed that he was dead to him. It was fully within his right as a father to withhold the inheritance from Louis and send him out without it, but despite the insult of Louis’ actions, he loved his son dearly. This was the child he had raised from birth, nothing was going to change that. With a heavy heart, he passed over the divided inheritance to Louis, and watched as his son walked away.

He stood at the doorway for a long time, staring at where the horizon had swallowed up his son into the world.

—–

Louis walked for a long time, stopping in towns along the way, hitching a ride with strangers and being generally reckless with the money he had been given. He had more money than he could possibly count at the time, for his father was a very rich man. With every town he passed, the scenery changed, and it reminded him less of home. The numbness in the pit of his stomach weakened as the memories were stirred less and less- the endless alcohol and games with newfound friends helped mask the bitterness he felt, and he even fooled himself into feeling happy sometimes. The rules his father had taught him followed him for a while, and he felt regret and fear for breaking them- but only at first. Eventually, those feelings left him too.

For a while, life became quite good. He was comfortable, he had no obligations, he never thought about his home, and he had anything he could have wanted. More quickly than he could imagine, he had a big circle of friends around him, people who agreed with him and made him feel really good. For once, he felt as noticed and important as he wanted to be.

One day, however, he realized that the money he had always relied on, the money he had used for gifts for his friends was running out. He double checked his bank to make sure, but both times he found out that no error had been made on their part; he was almost broke. A sinking feeling began to overwhelm him again, reminding him very harshly of his journey away from home, which reminded him for the first time in a long time of home. Of the look on his fathers face when he left. Of the words said, and left unsaid.

He tried to talk to his friends about his troubles, but for once they didn’t support him, or agree with him. What good was he to them, if he couldn’t give them gifts and make them comfortable? This only added to his misery. He tried to drown out his troubles in alcohol, but that only lasted until his money ran out entirely, and the way he acted while drunk only added to his quickly building sense of shame.

With no money left, he had no way of supporting his lifestyle anymore.

Out of desperation he begged for a job from a local restaurant owner, since no one else would hire him. It was a time where jobs where scarce in the land, so only the most qualified could work- not someone like Louis who had wasted his time enjoying himself comfortably and not doing anything to help others beyond lavishing gifts upon them to buy their friendships.

The restaurant owner took pity on him, and allowed him to have the food scraps that remained at the end of the evenings- only if he promised to clean the kitchens and take the trash out. A wage was something that simply couldn’t be given out at this time, however, as money was tight for everyone.

Louis was broken and depressed. He had been on top of the world only a short while before, and now he was reduced to this. He hung his head in shame as he limply shook the kind restaurant owners hand and accepted the offer.

The days dragged on, and all Louis could think about was his misery and hunger, as well as how life had been so much better. He realized how empty his friendships had been, and how short the joy he had from his money had lasted. He kept searching his mind for a time where he felt at peace, where he felt happy. He thought back to his childhood spent playing in his fathers house, learning there. The memories he had with his father. The love he had been given so abundantly, how he had been loved so dearly by his father from before he was even born. He realized he had thrown that all away when he left to make his own life, but Louis thought that perhaps if he approached his father, and asked to work for him- to be acknowledged as a son would be too much- but even the servants that worked for his father were better off than he was now. Maybe, just maybe, he could be accepted as a servant of a servant at his fathers place.

So he gathered what little food he could find, took what was left of his belongings, and packed them up for his journey home. He walked the long journey back, going over again and again in his mind what he would say to his father. To be just a servant would be good enough. He could never and would never ask to be remembered as a son, he had no right to that title anymore. His heart was heavy, but his mind was set on the small hope of returning home.

—–

The father was standing on the porch again, as he had done every evening after his son had left. He stared off into the distance, and searched fervently. His heart went out to his wayward child and he wished once more that his son would return home. The road had always stared back at him hauntingly, an empty path that flowed away into the distance as far as he could see. Yet tonight, there appeared to be a speck in the distance. He rubbed his eyes and looked once more. Surely it couldn’t be… he reached for his binoculars and gazed through them, magnifying the speck. Sure enough, it was his son Louis, looking very weary and world-worn. His heart leaped within his chest, and he dropped the binoculars and ran down the path as fast as he could, not bothering even to stop to put his shoes on. His son was coming home!

He raced as fast as his feet could take him and met Louis on the path- before Louis could say anything, his father picked him up in a tight embrace and kissed him on his head just like had always done when Louis was a small boy. Tears were streaming down his face as he did so. Louis opened his mouth and said to his father, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.” His father just looked him in the eyes lovingly, and saw the ragged clothes that Louis wore. He picked up his cell phone and called the house, asking his servants to ready his son a room, and to leave the finest clothes he could find for him there. He took the fine heirloom watch that he wore, slid it off his wrist and placed it on his son’s arm, lavishing him with his most personal and finest gift. His father leaned forward and whispered into Louis’ ear as he embraced him tightly, “It is so good to have you back home where you belong, my son.”

~~~~~

This is an interpretation of ‘The Parable of the Lost Son’ told by Jesus, in Luke 15:11. The parables Jesus’ told are all profitable to our wellbeing and have a distinct purpose. This parable is special to me, because it speaks of the promise and hope that every Christian has- of being called God’s child, even after we have spurned His love in whatever ways we could dream up. It speaks of our heavenly Father’s undying love for us, and how if we humble ourselves before him and repent of our sins to Jesus, no matter what our sins against Him were, he will love us without limits.

This is a truth that I have come to appreciate more and more each day as it transforms my life, and I hope the story helps you understand our Father’s love for you more as well. God bless, and I hope you have a great day dear reader!

~~~~~

The source material, from the NKJV Bible.

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.

13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. 14 But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”’

20 “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring[b] out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.

25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’

28 “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’

31 “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

[pasted from Biblegateway.com]

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Comments
4 Responses to “The Parable of the Prodigal Son”
  1. Jonathan says:

    Wow! That really does bring new light to this story. Did you write all of that yourself? Or did something/someone inspire it? Thanks for sharing!

    • xtonycz says:

      I wrote the entire story myself this afternoon, but it was a thought that was inspired by a book I am currently reading, written by Francis Chan. It’s called The Forgotten God, it’s all about the Holy Spirit. There was a brief reference to the parable, and my mind was in the right frame to think about it twice. Also, it came from an insight my mom offered me as well- When God offers through the bible an analogy or allegory or metaphor, the word-picture is always congruent entirely with His character. The True Vine, the Song of Solomon, The Parable of the Soils- they all just ‘fit’ with the character of God. He doesn’t use images that ‘sorta’ work, they really work.

      To be honest, before I looked it up again just the other day, I didn’t even know where the parable of the lost son was written, or by whom (I thought it coulda been an old testament proverb or something)- but once I saw it was written by Jesus, I instantly realized that he was talking about the Heavenly Father, and I was overwhelmed by the image of God loving ME so much, even after I had transgressed his law. It just hit me so hard that I felt I had to share this with anyone that would take the time to read it!

  2. Jonathan says:

    Yeah I’m definitely amazed by Jesus’ ability to use examples we all can relate to to teach things which we normally can’t understand. But then considering He designed it all, of course He knows all this 🙂

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  1. […] By the way, if you’re in the mood to read parables, Tony just put an excellent post post up: https://xtonycz.wordpress.com/2010/10/20/the-parable-of-the-prodigal-son/ […]



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