The Gospel of Luke | Prodigal Part II | Luke 15.17-24 |

by | Sep 9, 2021

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15.17-24

[Be sure to read the first portion of this parable by Jesus starting in Luke 15.11.]

I’ve been watching the recent TV series “The Chosen,” (see picture above from the series). It’s an amazing depiction of Jesus, his ministry and the people to whom he ministered and met. I’m still in the first season but what astounds me most is how Jesus interacts with people. It’s one thing to read his interactions on the pages of Scripture and another to see it played out in person. In this TV series, I am reminded of the personably, human, and humorous side of Jesus. It’s certainly worth the watch.

Just like in “The Chosen,” what Jesus is teaching in the story of a parable is a God who cares, a God who comforts and a God who can not contain his love for his people. We know the overall message of the story of the Prodigal Son is God’s reception of all of us who were once sinners but now are welcomed by his grace.

Our story picks up when the son realizes that his fathers hired hands eat better than he does while he’s hanging out with the pigs. So he decides to return to his father, not as a son, but as a hired hand and hopefully to benefit from just the basics of food, clothing and shelter. So, the text tells us, he gets up and returns to his father. This is where the story gets so good and God’s grace and love just oozes all over the story.

As the son approaches home, and while he was “still a long way off,” his father saw him (had he been looking?), “was filled with compassion….ran to his son and threw his arms around him and kissed him.” (Spoiler alert — this is the reception each of us can expect from our Heavenly Father when we repent of sin and return to him.)

The father sees the son, reacts in extravagant ways by putting a robe on him, a ring on his finger, sandals on his feet. They kill the calf they’ve been fattening up for a banquet or special occasion and put on a feast to celebrate the return of the son. As the father says, “For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”

Now the story doesn’t end here, our next discussion will cover the rest of the parable and the response of the not-so-happy older brother. But for now, the celebration of a lost soul returning to the fold of his father is told and it’s compelling.

How many times have we found ourselves lost and in need of repentance? The Father is always waiting and willing. It simply takes our surrender and our return to his love.

Do you need to confess your sins today? Repent and believe the Gospel. The Father will be waiting with arms open wide.

”O Lord God, you are so good. Thank you for your humanity and divinity. Thank you for saving us and for allowing us to walk in newness of life. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power. I confess my need for you and my desire to follow in your steps. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen