The Story of the Prodigal Son

Hello Friends,

Through the story of the Prodigal Son, Messiah gives us great wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, as he reveals several important life lessons to us. This short, but impactful story teaches us about unconditional love, forgiveness, grace, and restoration. Many of Jesus’ valuable lessons and infinite wisdom were taught in the form of parables, as they give real life examples for us to relate to and learn from. We have all heard the saying “prodigal son.” Perhaps we have witnessed the pain and hurt associated with knowing a “prodigal son,” or even been one at some point in our personal lives! Whatever the case may be, we can all relate to the story of the “Prodigal Son.” 

Luke 15:11-13, “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.

In the very beginning of the parable, Messiah confirms one of the ten commandments. The younger son came to his father and asked him for his inheritance. This gives us insight to the younger son’s disrespectful attitude. It was the father’s decision as to when he would divide up his estate and give his sons their inheritance.  

Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. 

According to the Torah, the younger son’s share would be one-third of the total inheritance, as the older brother’s share was two-thirds (Deuteronomy 21:17). In most cases, the inheritance would have been divided accordingly at the father’s death, although, sometimes a father would choose to retire and divide up his estate before he passed away. However, in this case, the son’s father granted his younger son’s wish and gave them their inheritance. Once the younger son gathered his inheritance and his possessions, he traveled to a far country and lived a prodigal lifestyle, wasting all of his money and possessions. Jesus spoke about money more than any other topic except the kingdom of heaven. He gives us great wisdom about money and possessions.

Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Also, Solomon, the wisest man to live beside Messiah (1 Kings 3:12), gives us great understanding when it comes to money and possessions. Ecclesiastes 5:10, “He who loves silver (money) will not be satisfied with silver (money); Nor he who loves abundance, with increase. This also is vanity. Clearly, we should be careful of the dangers and pitfalls of money and possessions, as Jesus and Solomon clearly warn. 

Luke 15:14-16,”But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.” 

Having spent his inheritance, the prodigal son hit “rock bottom,” as a famine arose in the land. With no money, possessions, or even food to eat, he resorted to the most humiliating thing a Jewish person could do, feed swine. According to God’s instructions, found in the Torah, swine (pigs) were unclean animals. The children of Israel (Jews) could not eat them or use them for sacrifices (Leviticus 11:2-8, Deuteronomy 14:8). If the children of Israel touched swine, it was considered a defilement. So, the prodigal son feeding swine was a great humiliation. Furthermore, for the prodigal son to eat food that pigs touched was not only humiliating, it was a very humbling experience. 

Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before the fall. Matthew 23:12, “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

After the prodigal son reached his “all time low,” reality set in, and he realized he had sinned against his father and was ashamed of himself.   

Luke 15:17-19, “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.” 

Sometimes in the midst of darkness and confusion, we see the great light!

Ephesians 5:8, “For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” 

It often takes great hardship, sorrow, and tragedy to cause us to live a righteous life and rely on the wisdom of the Godly people who love us. This was exactly the case for the prodigal son. After spending his inheritance on a sinful lifestyle, and living the ungodly life that he wanted to live, he hit “rock bottom.” Only through his hardships, did he come to the reality of righteous living. The prodigal son had learned a hard, but great lesson! He finally understood and appreciated how great a life he had lived before he departed from his father and started his prodigal life. Are we living life our selfish way or God’s way? Is God’s will our will? Before God allows us to hit an “all time low” or “rock bottom,” we could save ourselves and our family much trouble and grief by living in God’s will. God has a plan for each and every one of us, we just have to trust and obey.

Jeremiah 29:11-13, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”  Proverbs 3:1-8, “My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.

Once the prodigal son realized his sinful ways, he returned to his father, humbled himself, and repented for his deeds. 

Luke 15:20-24,”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. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.” 

As the prodigal son was returning home, his father saw him and had great compassion for his son. Instead of condemning and scolding his son, the father hugged and kissed him. This is exactly how our heavenly Father, God Almighty, feels about us when we return to Him.

Psalm 145:8-9, “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.Daniel 9:9, “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him.” 

The prodigal son immediately humbled himself and asked his father for forgiveness. As we discussed earlier, when we humble ourselves, God recognizes our humility and exalts us to His will. 

Matthew 23:12, “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 

The prodigal son definitely learned from his sinful lifestyle, as we can see in the Scriptures. His arrogance at the beginning of the parable was remarkably changed at the end of the story. He returned to his father a broken man who was willing to be one of the servants at his father’s house if only his father would allow it. However, as we see, once the son asked the father for forgiveness, his father immediately forgave him, and clothed his son with an extraordinary robe, sandals, and a ring. The father ordered everyone to celebrate his son’s return home. Just as the father did with the prodigal son, our heavenly Father does the same for us. Once we repent, and return to Him and His ways, He is faithful to forgive us.

1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.Not only does He forgive us, but He forgets them as well. Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.Hebrews 8:12, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Messiah’s blood has washed our sins as white as snow. Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Amen! 

Luke 15:25-30, “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’ “But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.’”

As the family and the servants were celebrating the prodigal sons return home, the older son had resentment and bitterness towards his younger brother. He justified his emotions and feelings with his own “self-righteous” ways. In his opinion, he didn’t live the prodigal lifestyle that his younger brother lived. Too often, this is how our world, including the church, reacts to people who come to the Lord after they have lived sinful lives. Instead of rejoicing and celebrating that “a lost sheep was found,” the older brother chose bitterness and resentment. By not forgiving his brother, the older brother’s attitude rendered him just as lost as the prodigal son! We should not let anything keep us from forgiving others, just as Messiah has forgiven us.

Matthew 6:14-15, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Jesus makes it very clear that if we do not forgive others, He will not forgive us. In God’s eyes, this made the older brother just as guilty as the younger brother. 

The father’s actions toward the prodigal son exemplify how we should rejoice when an unbeliever or a “prodigal son” repents and turns to the Lord. Messiah gives us another incredible parable for understanding.

Luke 15:4-7, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” 

Luke 15:10, “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” 

Needless to say, if the angels are rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents and comes to the Lord, then we should follow this example as well. We should also support them and give them encouragement as they start a new journey with the Lord. We have to remember that none of us are righteous, and we have all been the prodigal son in one way or another in the eyes of the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 7:20, “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.” 

Romans 3:23-24, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” 

Messiah gives us another very clear message about His purpose.

Mark 2:17, “When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” 

Messiah concludes this awesome parable by giving us hope and encouragement.

Luke 15:31-32, “And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’”

Just as the father was with his son, Jesus is always with us, even to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” 

On God’s perfect, divine timetable, He will give us an incredible kingdom to live in with Him.  (Revelation 21 & 22). Just as the father told his son in the parable, we should be merry and celebrate when our “brothers and sisters” come to the Lord. As Messiah says, “your brother was dead, but now he is alive again, and was lost, but now is found!” We have all been spiritually dead at some point in our life. Thanks to God Almighty, who gave his only Son, Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to save our sins, so that we will not perish, but have everlasting life! 

John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved! Amen, Amen, and Amen

 

 

                                   PRODIGAL SON

 

I’VE TAKEN MY MONEY, AND SOUGHT MY DESIRES
I’VE ROAMED THIS WORLD, CRAZY AND WILD
LAVISH LIVING, SEEKING MY PLEASURES
I’VE SOWED MY OATS, WHILE LOOKING FOR TREASURE

CHORUS>
LORD, I’M THE PRODIGAL SON
FORGIVE ME FOR THE SINS I’VE DONE
LORD, I’M THE PRODIGAL SON
FORGIVE ME FOR THE SINS I’VE DONE

GOSSIPING TONGUES, AND JUDGED BY FRIENDS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          YOU CAN THROW STONES, IF YOU HAVE NO SIN
WE’VE ALL BEEN, THOSE HYPOCRITES
JUSTIFYING OUR SINS, FOR OUR OWN BENEFIT

CHORUS>
LORD, WE’RE ALL PRODIGAL SONS
FORGIVE US FOR THE SINS WE’VE DONE
LORD, WE’RE ALL PRODIGAL SONS
FORGIVE US FOR THE SINS WE’VE DONE

BRIDGE>
CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, HE’S OUR KING, HE’S OUR FORGIVING LORD
CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, HE’S THE ALMIGHTY, HE ’S OUR REDEEMING LORD
CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, HE’S OUR KING, HE’S OUR FORGIVING LORD
CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, HE’S THE ALMIGHTY, HE ’S OUR REDEEMING LORD

SINNERS AND SAINTS, WE’RE ALL THE SAME                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     WE ALL NEED FORGIVENESS, IN JESUS’ NAME
LETS OPEN OUR HEARTS, AND OPEN OUR EYES
TO THE ALMIGHTY LORD, IN THE HEAVENLY SKIES

CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, HE’S OUR KING, HE’S OUR FORGIVING LORD
CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, HE’S THE ALMIGHTY, HE ’S OUR REDEEMING LORD
CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, HE’S OUR KING, HE’S OUR FORGIVING LORD
CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, HE’S THE ALMIGHTY, HE ’S OUR REDEEMING LORD
CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, HE’S OUR KING, HE’S OUR FORGIVING LORD
CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, HE’S THE ALMIGHTY, HE ’S OUR REDEEMING LORD
CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, HE’S OUR KING, HE’S OUR FORGIVING LORD
CHRIST IS OUR SAVIOR, HE’S THE ALMIGHTY, HE ’S OUR REDEEMING LORD
HE’S OUR REDEEMING LORD                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  HE’S OUR REDEEMING LORD
HE’S OUR REDEEMING LORD

WRITTEN AND COPYRIGHTED BY FAITHFUL PERFORMANCE 2015

2016-10-01_11-33-31

 

 

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