In the parable of the Lost Prodigal Son, the younger son is found by waiting, unlike the two parables before it which displayed the lost as being found by searching. This parable is about a lost son who is found. His father gives his son his inheritance and the son foolishly spends it. The son returns and confesses to the father what he did. Instead of his father scolding him, the father accepts what his son has did and lavishes him with a robe and they feast on a fat calf. This son is rewarded for his wrongdoing and his older brother is left jealous, angry, and perplexed. The moral of the story is that God rewards those who rebel and return.
This parable resonates with me because sometimes as children, we rebel against our parents, just like the younger son. As an adult, I recognize that certain things in my past were not decisions well made and that I am happy that my parents forgave me for my mistakes, no matter how big or how small. I appreciate my parents for always teaching me right and wrong and honoring my achievements and helping me to recognize my mistakes. However, unlike the older brother in this story, my relationship with my parents is not based on work, but love. On another note, I relate most with the father of this parable, for the father is kind and giving. He tells his younger son that all that he has is his: “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours” (Luke 15:31). I see myself playing this role daily, because everyone I meet or know “like gold.” I always put people before myself and give to them, not because I have to, but because I want to. My parents have raised me to always do the right thing, and that sometimes, we may want to slip up, but it is up to our faith in God to steer us in the right direction.
In this story, the father is similar to God. God does not give up on us when we start betraying him, and doing things that he would look at as wrong. God will always forgive us if we have truly changed and regret what we have done. The father forgives his son fully and looks past everything he has done because he loves him and sees that he has changed. The father is merely rejoicing because his son lives, even though he thought he had died.
While the younger son had fallen out of favor with God, he proves that he saw the wrong in what he did and changes when he asks for forgiveness by his gracious father. “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands” (15:18-19). My parents have taught me many valuable lessons, but one in particular stands out to me in relation to this parable. Forgiveness is difficult, but it is up to us to forgive people who truly change and want to be forgiven so that they can move past their mistake. The father is righteous and giving, just like Our Almighty Father. This parable has taught me to celebrate the milestones in a person’s life, actions that show growth and change, especially. When someone is forgiven, it is up for that person to not make the same mistake twice, but rather show that they have changed.