Wednesday, 21 July 2021
“I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father; I have sinned against heaven, and before thee.” - Luke 15:18
The Parable of the Lost Son in our reading today is one of the most familiar parables in the Bible. It is not only the younger son who was lost but also the elder son, lost in his own subtle way. As we meditate on this word today, let us examine ourselves to see if our attitude is that of the younger or the older son or that of the loving father.
The younger son, when he was of age, felt that it was the right time for him to inherit his father’s wealth and set out on his own. He thought that he was wise and mature enough to tread on his own and have an identity of his own. This caused him to rebel against his father, demanding his inheritance. Sometimes we are like this son, when we think that we are capable of managing situations in life all by ourselves. We do not seek the guidance or wait for directions from our Heavenly Father. We demand the fulfillments of our wants, pleasures and what seems to be right in our eyes.
The younger son got what he wanted, his portion of his father’s inheritance and did not want to stay any longer at home. He wanted his freedom and independence. He went far away, to a place where he had no contact with his family. He spent life according to what he thought was good and right; soon he was left penniless. Even before he knew it, he was caught in the depths of sin and the verge of ruin. Sometimes we have everything we want in life and think that our way of life is right and good until like this younger son, we end up in despair and distress in life. R.C. Sproul has said: “Though sin often brings immediate pleasure, it gives no lasting joy.”
The younger son realised his folly when he lost all he had. He came to himself and acknowledged that he had sinned against God and his father. Genuine repentance came upon him. Sometimes it takes us to come to that point where we have nothing in our hands, for us to realize that the path that we were on, was actually a path of ruin and eternal destruction. Our sins often affect other people and is ultimately against God. We must be ready to acknowledge and repent of our sins both against God and others. Proverbs 28:13 says: “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”
Finally, we see the younger son return to his father. Repentance brings about change in mind that results in a change in action. He decided that he would seek the forgiveness of his father and live with him under his care and love from then on. Jesus said in Luke 19:10:“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost.” There is still hope for anyone who is like the younger son. God, like the loving father in this parable, is waiting with open arms to forgive and receive anyone who is willing to repent and receive Jesus, His Son, as the Saviour of their lives.
We see the older son, who was always with the father obeying him, responsible and dutiful at all times but lacked compassion and love for his lost brother, due to his self-righteousness. Are we like this older son, never disobeying the Heavenly Father but greatly lacking in genuine love and care for others around us? Let us repent of such self-righteous attitude and accept those who genuinely repent and turn to God. The Father loves you and invites you to rejoice with Him over the many lost sons (even though they may have been the worst sinners), who come back to Him!
Think on: Jesus said: “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:7)