Day 12 – A story about two sons (part 1)
Bible reading: Luke 15:11–24
A story about two sons
‘Don’t you preach to me!’ they say. I can understand why people say that. So many preachers’ talks are boring. Jesus didn’t do much of it. Instead he told stories – stories you could really get into and recognize yourself in the characters. This is one of his greatest stories.
A man had two sons
The younger one came to him and asked for half the inheritance his father would leave him. In the culture of the day, that meant he wished that his father was dead! Amazingly, the father, who obviously represents God in the story, lets the son have his inheritance early. Soon the young man leaves to do whatever he wants in the big city, as far away from home as he can go.
That’s what we are like. God gives us free will and we use it to go and do our own thing. But it doesn’t bring a good result. The fruits of rebellion are like ashes: those whom we think are our friends leave us, and we find ourselves with no money left. This young man became so poor that he only had the pigs’ disgusting food to eat.
Then ‘he came to himself’ and considered his situation – always the first step on the return journey to God. He realized how foolish he had been. He knew that the servants at home had more than enough to eat while he was starving.
So he set out on the road back – the second step on the return journey. None of that youthful confidence now. He practised what he would say, ‘Father, I’ve been a fool. I’m no longer worthy to be called your son. Please let me work for you as a slave.’
But while he was still far away, the father, who had been watching the horizon for days, suddenly saw him and ran to meet him. In the East, important men do not run. But because of his love, the father endured shame, hugged his son, did not let him explain his full confession, provided clean clothes for him (he was too dirty to be seen) and organized an excellent feast.
That is how God welcomes his runaway children! Isn’t it amazing?