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The lessons of the prodigal son is a reminder of God’s love for his children. Though the prodigal son left his father and pursued a wild lifestyle, the father still forgave him. The father even hosted a celebration when he came home.
Overall, we have all fallen short of the glory of God due to sin. Yet, God forgives us. Therefore, we should rejoice at the goodness of God.
The Parable of The Prodigal Son Summary
In Luke 15:15-31, there was a father that had two sons. Each son was to receive a portion of their father’s wealth. The youngest son asked to receive his money immediately. So, the father divided the value of his estate and gave it to the sons.
Then, the younger son left his father’s house and went to a distant country. During his time there, the younger son spent all his money because he was living a lavish and wild lifestyle. After he had spent everything, there was famine in the land and he was in desperate need.
To earn money, he got a job taking care of pigs. During this time, it was one of the most degrading and low paying job. The son eventually realizes that his father is forgiving. And he can return home to his father’s wealth and goodness.
While returning home, the father saw him from a far distance walking back. The father ran towards him, then greeted him with a kiss and a hug. The son felt unworthy of the father’s love and replied:
“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
However, the father continued to celebrate his son’s return. 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. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
Meanwhile, the brother was working in the field. When he heard the music and his father told him of the lavish preparations for the youngest son, he became angry. So, the father pleaded with him to attend the event. However the eldest son replied: “Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
In reply, the father said: “My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
9 Lessons of The Prodigal Son
1. God pursues all of us equally.
The story of the prodigal son reveals the heart of a father and two of his sons. The youngest son struggled with lust of the flesh and shame. While the eldest son struggled with jealousy and ungratefulness.
However, the father’s heart didn’t change towards either of them. He made it a point to pursue each of them and show his love for them.
2. God is forgiving and merciful.
God rejoices when sinners, the lost, and backsliders return. Essentially, God doesn’t hold our past against us and he patiently awaits our return.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:3-10)
3. God’s character and love is consistent.
Since the Old Testament, he has always made a way to show people his love. And God continued to prove this love by sending his only son, Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
4. Christians can cause their own problems.
The prodigal son had a good life. He was well taken care off and had an amazing family. However, that wasn’t enough for him. The son still chose to pursue the world rather than righteousness, family, and stability.
“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.” (James 1:13-14)
5. God is enough.
The biggest lie that many Christian believe is that God isn’t good enough. They search the world for people, objects, and riches to fill their needs. However, each person will eventually realize that all that glitters isn’t gold.
6. You can’t earn God’s love.
God loves all of his children the same. The eldest son stayed and was hard at work, but that wasn’t why God loved him. God loved him because of who he was inside. And because he is a son.
Ultimately, God’s love isn’t conditional. It doesn’t change based on what we do versus what we don’t do. However, similar to the youngest son, when we sin and rebel we choose to live outside of God’s goodness and protection.
7. The world doesn’t satisfy.
The things of the world can never satisfy our longings. For instance, lust cannot be filled by gaining what you desire. Instead, the emptiness within your soul can only be filled with a relationship with God.
“Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)
8. Without God, we can enter a spiritual drought and famine.
When the son left his father’s house, he lived on his riches for a while, but then he ran out. Then, “after he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.”
Similarly, when we stray from the Bible and God’s voice we enter into a spiritual drought. Our souls are in constant need and without God, we will become thirsty. Without God, our thirst will cause us to seek people, objects, activities, and money make us feel complete.
9. Condemnation is not from God.
The father didn’t spend time belittling his son and trying to shame him. He knew that the son was returning because he had learnt his lesson. God is similar. When we repent and acknowledge our sins, he moves on.
Do you feel unworthy due to sin and ungodly thoughts? Well, that’s not okay. Conviction and condemnation are not the same. You can feel remorse for sin, but you shouldn’t feel dirty or believe God loves you less because of it. Jesus didn’t die for you to have painful flashbacks and burdensome shame. (1 John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 7:10)