Sunday, 27 Mar 22
I have always like this parable. In fact, I have been something of a prodigal myself. But whenever I hear or read it, my heart trulygoes out to the elder son. In this world, how easy it is for the ‘good’ child, for the ‘good’ man or the ‘good’ woman to come to the conclusion that they are overlooked and under appreciated.
Here’s a metaphor: How you know which pair of new shoesreally fit? Are they the expensive, fine-looking ones? You know, the uncomfortable ones; the shoes that break down too soon; the ones you’ve folded under your heel because of that blister they caused? Nahh. The best shoes are the ones that you can’t even tell you have on! They don’t pinch your toes or rub your heels; they don’t fall off or gape at the sides – yep, you don’t even know you’re wearing them.
So, are we to conclude that the expensive, uncomfortable shoesare the best ones to have because we pay so much attention to them? The Prodigal Son was expensive when it wasn’t convenient; he hurt feelings and eventually hurt himself. He was fussed over when he finally did the right thing – he was well-loved, after all.
But what about the elder son; the one who never asked for anything? The one who was always obedient and reliable? His father comes to him when he’s being peevish and reassures him that of course he is well-loved, and always has been. That he – even he – can have whatever he asks for and will be given his inheritance at the proper time.
The two sons are truly the children of their father. Both are loved. We are truly the children of our Father. We’re loved when we make mistakes. We’re loved when we do what is right. We will be celebrated when the time is right. We will receive our inheritance at the proper time. We are, after all, well-loved and always have been.
One thought on “The Parable of the Prodigal Son”
Christ’s parables are often a problem for us. We love the parables that will vindicate our actions but there is always a parable around the corner that we won’t like. For instance, the parable about the workers who began work late in the afternoon receiving the same pay as those who worked since sunrise, is a difficult one for union workers to accept. It is possible that when one of His parables bothers us, it is this parable is precisely meant for us.