The Two Sons Who Were Lost
Jesus was known for telling stories as lessons that were called parables. One of His well-known parables was a son who was lost but was found. He was telling this parable to His disciples, to the Pharisees, to the tax collectors, and sinners that were around (Luke 15:1-2).
This parable He was telling is about a father and his two sons. The father’s youngest son asked for his part of his inheritance because he did not want to wait for it until his father died (Luke 15: 11-12). Without hesitation the father split the property between the two sons. Shortly after, the younger son set out to a far country and spent all his inheritance on sinful pleasures (Luke 15:12-13).
After spending everything he had, there was a severe famine that gripped the land and he found himself without anything and very hungry. He was so hungry and desperate that he got a job feeding pigs. While the pigs were eating, he was contemplating eating the same food as the pigs, but no one gave him anything to eat (Luke 15:14-16).
The famine proved to be a blessing for him. It made him think and remember that his father’s servants were living more comfortably than him. He realized that his father’s servants had food while he was suffering from hunger in a land where no one was willing to help him. He decided to go back home. He determined to go repent, ask for forgiveness and to acknowledge what he did was sinful. He realized he was no longer worthy to be called his father’s son and planned to ask his father to become one of his servants (Luke 15:17-19).
When the son was still far away from his father’s house, his father saw him, felt sorry for him, and ran to greet him. With open arms, the father kissed and hugged him. The son made his confession that he sinned against God and against him. But his father was so happy that his son returned and repented that it was a reason to celebrate. The father ordered his slaves to put the best robe on him, put a ring on his finger, and sandals on his feet. He also ordered a great feast to celebrate the return of his younger son. The son that was once lost was now found (Luke 15:20-24).
The same goes for anyone who returns to God in repentance and asks Him to forgive them. God is ready to forgive and welcomes anyone back with open arms who is truly sorry. When they do there will be a celebration in heaven for them (Luke 15:10).
Another lesson Jesus was teaching in this parable is a lesson that can be learned from the older son. The older son stayed with his father while the younger brother left to live a life of sin. The older brother was angry and jealous when he heard his brother came back and their father was having a party for him. He refused to celebrate the same joy as his father (Luke 15:28-30).
He told his father that he had never rewarded him for his faithful service, and he never did what his brother did. The older son represents the Scribes and the Pharisees in the New Testament. They resented that God showed mercy to sinners like the tax collectors. Like the older brother, the Scribes and the Pharisees felt the same way. They wondered how God could show mercy to a sinner like that and believed they did not do what they did.
They believed they faithfully served God, never turned away from His commandments, and yet had never been properly rewarded. The Scribes and the Pharisees were religious hypocrites that were sinners too, but pride blinded them of the truth that God had also lavished His blessings on them. Only if they just humbled themselves, repented, and acknowledge their sins like the younger son, then their Father’s heart would have been full of joy and that would have been a reason to celebrate.