Day 12 – A story about two sons (part 1)

Bible reading: Luke 15:11–24

A story about two sons

11 Jesus then told another story: ‘There was a man that had two sons. 12 The younger son went to his father and said to him, “Father, please give me now my part of your things.” So, the father gave both sons the part of his things that each of them should have. 13 After a few days, the younger son sold what his father had given to him. Then he took all the money and left home. He went on a long journey to a country far away. There, he did whatever he wanted to do and wasted all his money. 14 After he had spent everything, there was no rain in that country. There was almost no food anywhere. So the young man had nothing to eat. 15 He went to a man who lived in that country. He asked to work for him. So the man sent him into his fields to give food to his pigs. 16 Nobody gave him anything to eat. He even wanted to eat the food that the pigs were eating. But he had nothing.

17 Then the son began to think about what he had done. He said to himself, “My father has many servants, and they have plenty of food to eat. They even have more food than they need. But I will die here because I do not have any food. 18 So I will go to my father and tell him, ‘I have done bad things against God, and I have done bad things against you. 19 So I am not good enough for you to call me your son any longer. Instead, please accept me as one of your servants.’ ”

20 So he went off to return to his father. But he was still a long way from the house when his father saw him. He felt very sorry for his son and he ran towards him. Then he put his arms round his son and he kissed him. 21 “Father,” the son said, “I have done bad things against God and against you. So I am not good enough for you to call me your son.” 22 But the father shouted to his servants. “Hurry!” he said. “Fetch the most beautiful coat that we have. Put it on him and also put a ring on his finger. Put shoes on his feet. 23 Fetch the young cow that we keep ready to eat on a special day. It is already fat. Kill it and prepare it. We will eat a big meal and we will be happy together. 24 I thought that my son here was dead. But now he has returned to me and he is alive! I thought that he had left me for all time. But now he has come home.” Then they all began to be happy together.

Luke 15:11-24 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

Reflection

‘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.’

Runaway’s welcome

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?