Lessons from the Prodigal Son

The parable of the prodigal son is probably of one of the parables that I could identify with and it is parallel to the situations that I face almost daily. It has a deeper meaning surrounding God’s unconditional love for us – the father and his children, the two sons.

The younger son asks for the inheritance from the father and he readily gives in to the son not because of weakness but due to love. The younger son comes across as arrogant and self-centred but we are like him because we forget about God and we just take his blessings without being grateful. Therefore, we become distant in our faith and the turning point comes when we are woken up by a crisis or situation where we need God’s mercy and direction.

Like the younger son, we are filled with remorse in leading such a faithless and sinful secularized life that we say,“Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers”(Luke 15:1-3,11-32). These words are said in desperation and in its best, it is a sincere attempt at reconciling with the father.

The father might seem foolish as in the parable – when the younger son was still at a distance, he ran up to his son, embraced and kissed him. Which father would be happy to see a son in today’s context who has squandered all his wealth and still go up to embrace him in front of everyone else?

Despite all the bad that the second son had done, the father – who is God – still brings the finest items in the household – the finest robe, a ring, sandals and a fattened calf. Now the robe and ring represent items of royalty, the sandals represent dignity and the fattened calf represents new life.

For God is understanding and he loves each one of us and it is something immeasurable as he says,“Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found”(Luke 15:1-3, 11-32). 

Most of the time, I identify more with the older son as even in life, I have been obedient to my parents and will do anything that they ask of me. However, the older son lacked not being able to see that despite obeying all the traditions, he failed to venture deeper into a relationship with God. For God says,“My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours”(Luke 15:1-3, 11-32).

God has always been willing to forgive sins if we are willing to repent and come back to him. He is also inviting us that through repentance, we can forge a better relationship with him. God loves the sinner who wants to change for the better.

I would like the end this post with a hymn titled “He“sung by Jerry Vale that I thought resonated well on the topic of God’s immense love for us, his children.

“He can turn the tides and calm the angry sea
He alone decides who writes a symphony
He lights every star that makes our darkness bright
He keeps watch all through each long and lonely night

He still finds the time to hear a child’s first prayer
Saint or sinner calls and always finds Him there
Though it makes Him sad to see the way we live
He’ll always say, “I forgive”

He can grant a wish or make a dream come true
He can paint the clouds and turn the gray to blue
He alone knows where to find a rainbow’s end
He alone can see what lies beyond the bend

He can touch a tree and turn the leaves to gold
He knows every lie that you and I have told
Though it makes Him sad to see the way we live
He’ll always say, “I forgive”

God Bless!

Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong

 

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