The Prodigal Son
Who is a prodigal son?
In reference to the parable told by Jesus from Luke 15, a prodigal son could be described as one that has left or abandoned his original place of belonging or heritage for a life contrary and beneath his rights and privileges.
Once a son, now a wanderer, living wastefully and disconnected from purpose and position.
We find later in the story that he is not sure anymore if he is a son or a hired servant.
I believe it’s important for us to understand the state of this prodigal son because although he is a prodigal, he is still a son.
The bible in John 1:12 reads, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to those who believe in His name, Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
We have received our place of belonging - an identity as sons of God through faith in Jesus.
A prodigal son would be someone that has turned away or left his place of heritage.
A believer who once walked closely with Jesus, this would be someone who is familiar with the way back home but perhaps has been led away from the father’s house by the things that Jesus listed that ensnare us, - the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of wealth, pride, selfishness, lust..
The prodigal has left the Father’s care in the false hope that there is something better out there.
The bible says in Luke 15 that the prodigal left to a far country. The desire for things contrary to our sonship can draw us so far from the Father. In our hearts we become separated from the Lord and his purposes.
Jesus speaks of this heart condition in Matthew 15:8 when he says, “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
The Father has always longed for us to draw near to him, with our whole hearts. Giving him the best of ourselves. Our time, our worship, our bodies.
In Luke 1:17, quoting a prophesy concerning John the Baptist, from the book of Malachi it says, "And he will go on before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
The Lord shall return for a people prepared and ready for him.
It has always been the Father’s desire and delight to have a family. A people devoted to him with their whole hearts. Revelations 14:4 reads, “These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they are virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They have been redeemed from among men as first-fruits to God and to the Lamb.”
Redeemed, changed, transformed, bought back. We thank God for his grace and mercy.
Not only is he longing for prodigals to return as sons, he desires to receive lost sons back home and show them his grace and mercy.
Luke 15: 17 says, “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! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “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."
The prodigal son was willing to forego his identity, who is, including his rights and privileges.
"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.”