– Charles Stanley
Living in the World
When the prodigal son asked his father for his inheritance, he was saying that, he was done with his father and the family, and so he took his inheritance and ended up squandering it all on frivolous living or living for the flesh (Luke 15:11-13). After a time, he ran out of money, and he also ran out of friends (if you can call them that), so all that he had brought was suddenly all gone because he spent it on his desires of the flesh. He was now broke, so now what?
The Weight of the World
It wasn’t long after this that the prodigal son “squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need” (Luke 15:13-14), so he got a job but it was a job probably no one else wanted. He had to feed the pigs and was so hungry “he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything” (Luke 15:16).
The Father’s Longing
After a time of near starvation, “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! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you” (Luke 15:17-18). That’s when thought he would “say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants” (Luke 15:18-19).
Returning to the Father
Finally, when the son had come to an end of himself, “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” (Luke 15:20), and he cried out, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet” (Luke 15:21-22). It was time to celebrate because, as the father said, “my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:24). This proves what Dr. Stanley said is true; “When we stray from His presence, He longs for you to come back.”
The prodigal son is a picture of all of us. We live in the world, we get sick of the world, we long for something more, and then we run to the Father Who had been waiting for us all the time and welcomes us with open arms, saying of us too that we too were “dead” but now “alive again” [and we were] lost, but now are “found. And they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:24).