The two prodigal sons
I have heard many an awesome sermons on the prodigal son story. In my early Christian years after my new birth I have cried many a tear singing and listening to Benny Hester sing ‘When God Ran’. A very good song to listen to if you haven’t had the pleasure.
The story of the prodigal has revealed many truths about our Fathers heart. Things like His looking and longing for our return. His eagerness to celebrate with us and everyone around because of our restoration back to the family. His removing of our shame and restoring us to rightful position as a son and heir again.
The list of treasure in that story is endless.
As much as the story is about Gods willingness to forgive and welcome us back to Him, there is an important piece of information that is left out of most of the messages I hear. It is the message of servants and sons.
The son that left home, after he came to his self, said ’even my Fathers servants are fed and better cared for than I, so I will return and tell my Father to make me as one of His hired servants.
Of course when he arrived back home, the Father totally ignored this request telling His servants to bring him a robe, a ring for his hand, and shoes for his feet, all the things that symbolize sonship, and, or ownership. The Father never even considered making him a servant to work off some sort of penance. He immediately restored him to a right relationship with the Father Himself.
To fully understand the importance of what the Father was saying by His actions we must also examine the other brother, the one who did not run off and waste his Fathers blessing.
It is recorded that this brother heard the noise and music and came in from working. When he was told what was going on, he became angry so much that he would not even go in the house. The Father had to come out to him also..
‘Whats the matter’ he ask. The working son starts complaining about how faithful he has been and how hard he has served his Father, and how he had never sinned against Him. He stated that not once had the Father killed a fatted calf for him and had a party, yet the Father did this for the rebellious son when he returned.
To this the Father responded "My son, you are always with me, all that I have is yours". Let me paraphrase "Son, you have never left my heart, everything I have belongs to you. You could have had a party with your friends and killed many fatted calves any time you wanted too. Not because you serve me so well, but because you our my heir and all I have is yours, thank you for hard work but the inheritance would still be yours even if you were crippled. You will never have to earn it.
You see both sons had the same mentality, both thought they had to earn their Fathers blessing. Both chose to be servants, not understanding ‘who’ their Father was, or what His plans were for them.
I once had an experience while walking and praying in which I was saying Lord, I just want to be your servant. I meant it from my heart, but He almost interrupted me, as He often does, He said "I would rather you be my son, so as I can pull you close and just share things with you that I probably wouldn’t share with you if you were just my servant"
Stunned again by His awesomeness, how could I argue with that. So be it, I say!