There was once a man who had two sons! The one I want to dwell on is found in
Luke 15 v 11 – 32 which is famously knows as the ‘Prodigal Son’ to which I will summarise now:
The nameless younger son bravely decided to ask his dad for an early inheritance to which his dad agreed and the younger son went to a foreign land and wasted it on a ‘riotous living’ until he had nothing left. Life in the foreign country was not pleasant for him (verses 15 -17).
Astonishingly he went back to his dad some time later and stated (verse 18) and said
“I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father; I have sinned against you and heaven”. The son says he is ashamed to be called his son and wants to become a servant but the father gracefully welcomed him back and kissed him.
Despite the older brother being angry and questioning his dads actions (verse 29) when he heard about this the Fathers servants bringing the best robe, putting a ring on the younger sons feet, killed a fatted calf for them to eat.
For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry (verse 24). And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine (verse 31).
There are a number of questions we must ask ourselves through this story?
1. Are you someone who has gone astray from man, friends or God and need to return to that point before you went off track and did things you should not have?
2. How welcoming are you if someone uses and abuses you to giving them a welcome home party – backsliders in the church perhaps?
3. Do you think there is any justice in this story?
4. How would you feel if you were the older brother and should the younger brother have received all those blessings?
5. Would you make the younger brother work as a servant on the farm for revenge for what he has done?
6. Does your church need to pray about people that once went to church but no longer go?
Abraham Lincoln once said “"Stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong." It could be argued that the Father in this story was loyal to his younger son; he loved him unconditionally no matter what he did.
Perhaps today there is someone in your life that has gone off track and there is nothing you can do about it however God is calling you to be loyal and be there for them for when they return, not judge them, seek revenge, be jealous like the older brother or seek to have justice in the situation when you do not have the authority to do so; ask uncomfortable questions but to lead by example like the Father did in this story.