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The Prodigal Son

Monday we looked at God is love and that we are his children.

Today we are asked to consider the Prodigal Son.

“There is a story about a father with two sons in Luke 15:11-32…. First Read the Bible passage.

What do you think about the Father in the story? All that the father wanted was to have his bad son returned home. He waited and waited until the som came back home. He didn’t get angry about the wrong things that his son had done. He didn’t rebuke Him either. He welcomed the son when he repented and returned:  he welcomed him back to his family.”

The first question – what do I think about the father in the story?

One of the dangers of reading a parable is reading too much into it. Parables have one central point and the characters work to draw out this point. We can’t attempt to line up every event and find a spiritual application to it. This parable is good example for this.

What do I think of the father? At first he seems a weak and foolish man. He gives away a portion of his money to his greedy, demanding son who can’t wait for his father to die to get his hands on his inheritance.

The father seems to mature but too late and is filled with hope and regret. He doesn’t know where his son is and can only stand and look for the son. His actively waiting does seem to establish a pattern of resentment within the older son. Who has stayed and been obedient.

When the younger son returns. The father throws a party to welcome the son home causing the older son to explode in action. The father explains his actions and surprise at the older son’s answer. Finally he promises that everything he has will go to the older son.

But that really isn’t the point of the parable, is it? The main points of the story are the fall and return of a first wicked then repenting son and how the son is welcomed home.

What do I think about the father in this light? Loving and embracing, patient, forgiving, hopeful, expectant

Now if we continue in our lesson

He waited and waited…. this is one thing God does not do. God doesn’t wait for us to come home. We are dead, we don’t move. God doesn’t hope we repent, he leads us to repentance. God doesn’t hope that one day we will change, he is the reason we change.

He didn’t get angry – true the father didn’t. But our Heavenly Father does. If you aren’t sure, ask Moses who was kept out of Israel for hitting a stone instead of speaking to it. Ask David about his son’s death. Ask Peter when he said in essnence “Don’t die. We don’t want you to go.”

The point I am making in all of this. God is in many ways like the prodigal son’s father but he isn’t identical.

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