Have you ever heard a parable? Jesus told several parables. They are stories that teach us spiritual lessons. In Luke 15, Jesus tells a parable about an unwise young man who wasn’t content with his life. We don’t know his name, but we know he had a loving father and a good home. In Bible times, when a father died, his possessions were divided among his children. This was called an inheritance. Even though this father was still alive, his son was so greedy that he wanted his inheritance early. His kind father gave it to him, and soon after, his ungrateful son left home, and traveled to a faraway place in search of sinful pleasures. While he was away, the boy wasted his father’s inheritance on wicked entertainment, making new, sinful friends and spending money on his own selfish desires.
As this rebellious son was doing as he pleased, he spent all his father’s money and a terrible famine came to the country. His friends left him, and he became very hungry. To make enough money to eat, he found work feeding pigs – not a very nice job! No one cared about him, no one offered him food, and he ended up having to eat the same food the pigs were eating. Can you imagine? He began to miss home and how sorry he was for leaving! He remembered that even his father’s servants had more to eat and were treated better than he was in a dirty pigsty. At his lowest point, the young man decided to return home, ask his father’s forgiveness for sinning, and beg to become one of his servants. He knew he didn’t deserve to return home as a loved son.
After a long journey, the boy was almost home. He was still at a distance from his father’s house, when suddenly, he saw his father running towards him! Do you think he was worried about how his father might receive him after all he had done? There was no reason to worry; his father grabbed him and hugged him as tightly as he could! The young son humbly begged his father’s forgiveness, and instead of punishing his son or turning him away, the father told his servants to bring the best robe and shoes for his beloved son, to put a ring on his hand, and to make a feast in celebration of his son’s return: “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” What a beautiful ending to a sad story!
You may think, “I would never be so foolish like this young man!” But, are you sometimes more interested in entertainment or friends than in reading your Bible, praying, or going to church? Jesus is teaching us that when we wander away from God, He is ready to forgive us when we repent. If you do not know Jesus as your Savior, the lesson for you is that you must turn from your sin and come to Jesus for forgiveness. He is a loving Father who will forgive and take away all your sin! Please trust Him as your Savior right now, wherever you are.
Rachel Hamilton is a member of Faith FPC, Greenville SC