Luke 15:17–24 (NASB 95)

17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 ‘I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.” ’ 20 “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

Examine / Explain

Jesus was telling a parable of the prodigal son. A boy who no longer wanted to live under his father’s rule. So he said the father, you are dead to me. Give me what is mine, and I am leaving. After squandering everything and as a jew living with pigs, he decided that it would be better to return home as a hired hand than stay where he was. But as he returned home, the father saw him and welcomed him home as a son. He celebrated with a feast that his son had repented and came home.

How do I apply this to my life?

What was the relationship before the son wanted his inheritance? Was the father just as compassionate and loving? As this compares to God, yes. But in our humanity, our perceptions of relationships can be skewed. Our trauma hurts, and scars shape what we think about others. So, did the prodigal son leave because he saw the father as strict and controlling? Could the son only see what he wanted to see? He thought life would be better than not having a relationship with his father, and his life crumbled in his rebellion. What lessons of being the son were not picked up? Why did the son not know how to live life on his own? Because the father still had things to teach? Was the pride in his life the thing that drove his thinking? We can lie to ourselves very quickly. We get an idea of what we think life should be. Then, we start constructing behaviors so we can reach our goals. Then reality hits, and it does not and will never meet our expectations. So we lose sight of the “what could be” and start dealing with our mess. We want to be recused! We want to be comfortable again, even if it means being close enough to salvation without receiving it. The son returns home with another expectation and hope. Relief from being stuck in the mud and just maybe I can work hard and find redemption. I know I have found salvation. I know the Father has put a ring on my finger and a robe on my back, but I am still walking to my home feeling unworthy. I know the Father is walking right with me. He is so excited that I am heading in the right direction, and He welcomes me. In my slow walk, I am still trying to be a hired hand, not a son. I can Him in my ear, celebrating my return to Him. But my brain can’t process the thought of being a son. What do I know about being a son? When everything I perceived was performance-based, can I even process of just being a son? What is the result of sonship? Inheritance? Not working for love and acceptance? Not constantly wondering, am I worthy?

What is my response?

Father. I started using “Father” in my response to almost “fake it until you make it.” And yet I still struggle with feeling like a son. I really don’t know what to do. How do I be something that I have no good concept of? Study. Lean not on my own understanding. I sit here and ask what I can “do” to “be” something. Shouldn’t I “be” something so I get to express who I am? Redeemed and headed to the banquet feast with the bridegroom. Living out of the truth of being free. Have a knowledge and understanding that a son is not required to strive and struggle to find grace, love, and freedom. I was bought with a price. Jesus’s blood on a cross two thousand years ago was enough. What else could I do to be more saved? I must have a paradigm shift in my heart! I must go from still trying to be a hired hand to being a son and co-heir with Christ. I have the Holy Spirit living in me, and I am no longer required to work as being free. I must accept it. Help me accept it! I want to live a son of the Most High God. Amen.


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