Be the Prodigal Luke 15:11-32
OK, I know that’s weird. I’m asking you to run away and feed pigs for a living. Well, not really. Walk with me here….
In the story of the Prodigal Son, taken from the Bible in Luke 15:11-32, There is a parallel story about a boy who ran away from home and a boy who never left. Brothers, living under that same roof, seeing the same family dynamics, eating at the same table, living under the same rules. One son had enough. HE wanted to have things his way. He actually told his father, ” give me my inheritance.” He was really saying to his dad, I wish you were dead! Just give me what i would get if you were dead because I don’t want to live here with you under these rules! Do you think his other brother heard any of this little exchange between the father and his prodigal brother? Sure seems like it from the story. So, here you have it. One son leaves his family with a sum of money, walks out on all he has been taught, squanders his inheritance on useless stuff and when the economy turns south, he winds up penniless and alone.
So, why be the prodigal? He seems like he made some monumental mistakes. Well, he did. But haven’t we all made some pretty big blunders in life. How many of us have started out right where we wanted to be, maybe right where God had planned for us to be, only to find ourselves no where close to that today. Maybe we find ourselves struggling with some of the “biggies” in our world. What owns you? We live in a world where we can have it all, but really, that’s not where we will find complete satisfaction. Focusing on ourselves, like the prodigal did will only lead to our own pig pen experiences. I’ve done my share of feeding pigs…. it’s not as much fun as you would think. In fact, it really stinks!
One thing the prodigal got right was this; It says in Luke 15:17 that, “he came to his senses.” He stopped. He looked around, assessed his surroundings, contemplated his future and said, “what am I doing here?” Then he did the most remarkable thing. He got up and went home. He didn’t run home and charge into the house and say something prideful or false, he just went home humbly willing to serve in anyway his father saw fit. He knew his dad so well that he knew he’d take him in. He didn’t head home hoping to avoid the whole discussion about what a fool he’d been. The prodigal KNEW he had been a fool and he accepted that. This wayward son had said some things he wished he could take back, but he couldn’t. He had to rely totally on his father’s grace. And you know what, I think he would have been content to just be close to the person who loved him so unconditionally that he was willing to serve him for life. Not as a son, but as a slave.
Wow, that sounds degrading, but think about it. We are slaves to something in this world. Either it’s our money, our beauty, our ambition or our pride. Something owns us. So why not Jesus? After all, didn’t He give everything for us? Didn’t He set aside the perks of being God to hang naked on a cross for us. He experienced humiliation for us so that we would never have to be afraid to lay our broken lives at His feet for healing.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been the prodigal before. Maybe not exactly like this one, but I’ve played the part and fortunately, I’ve come home. How about you? Where are you today? Are you in the process of running away? Are you already living in your rebellious place wasting your days? Maybe your finally setting down and saying, “why am I here?” Well no matter where you are, God is willing and waiting for you to come home. Trust me, it’s not always easy to turn around and begin those humble steps back to the father, but everyone of them is worth it. Every step is freeing and forgiveness is waiting.
So if you’re sitting there today wondering why you’re where you are, do the prodigal thing – and come home. I guarantee you won’t regret it!