17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’[c] 22 But the father said to his servants,[d] ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate (Luke 15:17-14 ESV).”
photo credit: Familyshare.com
I have observed the gambler. OK, I am like this a little too. If you need to bet, bet on yourself. If you don’t need to bet, bet on yourself. Bet on yourself no matter what. This isn’t always sinful. I think we can argue many of the people who have started great companies, built great missionary networks, planted churches, wrote books, have been pro-athletes, CEOs or great artistic talents have this life quality. They are going to work hard and believe that what they have to offer is going to work out, make money, be good for humanity, etc.
So, when the younger son saw that he was going to have an inheritance. He may have became blinded by some ideas of his own success or freedom. More likely, though It seems this story is more about a desired freedom from the father, and maybe their was no real plan or dream of success. In other words he didn’t need money for tomorrow. He found out he was rich for the moment. He found out his father’s name has given him a great inheritance, and he doesn’t need to wait until his father is dead. He can enjoy it today. He will worry about tomorrow, tomorrow.
But, now he is almost home. He has wasted his money. He is working on what to say. It seems based on what he says to his father, that their was a lot of thinking that went into this opening statement; “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son (Luke 15:21b-c).”
Remember they haven’t seen each other. He isn’t up to date on how the father feels about him. He severed ties, by asking for his part of the inheritance. It was like he was dead. The father has settled into believing that he wasn’t coming back. Now he has hit the bottom. He is going to grovel his way back. Many fathers would tell the child, you are right. Let’s take this slow. But, not this one. He loves his son, and his son is still just as much his son as his older more responsible son who stayed.
Let’s consider something. Much has been made of the father running to the son. This wasn’t something you did, if you were the dignified land owner, with a name and a reputation. You didn’t start running like a child. But, he was overcome with compassion. He passionately wanted to get to his boy. But, the boy isn’t restored to his position completely until after he repents. “I am not worthy to be called your son.” Immediately, the father then returns with, don’t be ridiculous. Give him a robe (provision), shoes (status) and the ring (authority).
All this time. He was cut off from fellowship with the father, but he remained his son. He may have forgotten what he was like, he might not have known his love to this level, because he had not betrayed him to this level yet (Not that I am recommending that). But, he was back and it was as if he never left, or so it seemed.
Next Tuesday we are going to look at the concern of the other brother. Thanks for Reading!
For discussion, How much does God love you? Can you really escape fellowship with God Almighty once you belong to Him?
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