April 05, 2022 – Tuesday
Luke 15:21 NIV
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.’
In verses 11-32 we have a story that is popularly known as the story of The Prodigal Son. However, the use of prodigal in scripture is rare. In this parable it is only used in the MEV (Modern English Translation) and the NKJV (New King James Version) although many versions have a title for this particular parable, The Prodigal Son. Few people know the definition of prodigal It is an adjective for a person characterized by profuse or wasteful expenditure.
In this parable a man has two sons, both loved. By the tradition of the time, the oldest son will inherit 2 thirds of the father’s holdings = land, livestock, stores of grain, money, etc. The rest of the siblings would then divide the remaining one third among themselves. In this case there only sons and the younger son asked for his inheritance, one third of his father’s holdings. This was unusual, but not unheard of. Verse 13 tells us, Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. Everything that remained now belonged to the older brother.
The younger son after squandering his inheritance, during a serve famine, begin to be in need (v14b). His hunger grew that he desired the food he was feeding pigs. He finally came to his senses and said to himself (v17), How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! He was ready to return home and work as servant for his father. He was going to return and repent (although the word repent is not used (v18-19), I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.
As he was returning (v20), his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. That was when he spoke his repentance to his father (v20), Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father, like the shepherd who found the lost sheep and the woman who found her lost coin, would have none of that. Instead he said (v23-24), 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. His son had been lost and dead in sin, but now he is found and alive!
But hat is not the end of the parable for just as the shepherd represented Jesus in the first parable, the father now represents Jesus and we will find the elder son represents the Pharisees. In the following exchange the elder brother finds out about the celebration and becomes angry and refuses to go. Thus, in v28b-31, we read, So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘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! 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.
The elder reacted as a Pharisee would as they did not believe in forgiveness of sin or celebrating repentance. The father reacted just as Jesus would have, he pleaded with the older son. The elder son refused to acknowledge his brother, telling his father, this son of yours while the father replies, this brother of yours. John MacArthur writes, The inheritance had already been distributed. Everything the father had was literally in the elder son’s possession. Yet the elder son was begrudging even the love the father showed to the prodigal son. The Pharisees and scribes had easy access to all the riches of God’s truth. They spent their lives dealing with Scripture and public worship—but they never really possessed any of the treasures enjoyed by the repentant sinner. A message on this parable may be found here.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Please help me to remember I have been forgiven my sins and any sinner can also be forgiven if they will but repent. Let me always remember and know this in my heart of hearts.– In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton