Today’s parable is one of the more developed parables that Jesus tells. Let’s review this story from the perspective of the three main characters. The elder son’s perspective: This is the story of two sons. One son remains faithful to the father (him), and the other is a wastrel.
The younger son’s perspective: This is the story of a son who squanders his inheritance (him), and the father’s love that draws him back into the family. Note that the younger son and elder son never interact in Jesus’ story.
The father’s perspective: This is the story of a son who demands his inheritance before his father’s death—an unacceptable demand to which the father gives in.
And so we begin reading the story. The younger son asks for his inheritance in advance of his father’s death and then spends it all in riotous living. He becomes a servant for another in order to live. Finally he comes to his senses and decides to return home. He practices his apology; over and over again he confesses his sin and acknowledges the forfeiture of his position as son.
When the father runs to meet his younger son, the translation denotes a sense of rush and hurriedness. Some theologians wonder if the father runs to protect his son from the scorn of the village. The father does not wait for explanation or confession; he never judges the sincerity of the younger son’s confession. Thus it is that the lost son and the “lost” [bereft of relationship with the younger son] father reunite.
With which character do you identify most? Where do you see God in this story?

Lord, thank you for your never-failing love. May I experience your grace today. Amen.

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