The parable of the prodigal is inarguably one of the most famous of Jesus Christ’s parable in the Bible.
Although the context of the bible applies to one who was in Christ or a believer but decides to leave for the world to go and taste and enjoy the things of the world. After suffering the harsh reality of the world decides to go back to the father.
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
– Luke 15:11-24(NIV)
His decision to leave wasn’t something he woke up to but something that has been building up in him. The prodigal son as depicted in the parable was from a unique family and genealogy, a royal family which everyobe in the country would love to be a part of. So rich in splendour that even the least of the servants lived like a king. But the heir to this magnificent empire felt like he was living as a second class citizen in his father’s kingdom. A kingdom that was his, an inheritance he always has control over.
He didn’t become a prodigal because she left but because he totally lost sight of who he is and started to plot liberate himself, So he thought.
Being a prodigal has more to do with loss of identity than it has to do with leaving. Although he left thinking he was no longer the father’s son, but to the father he will continue to be his son and heir.
A lot of us believers suffer this identity crisis, although we claim not to be prodigal like the son in this parable, but we have totally lost sight of what we are called into and to be. The prodigal son was a son of a king. He was a king himself in a kingdom where his father reigned supremely, one who has been made eternity himself, one who could be anything he wanted to be. But he lost sight of who he is. And sort to find himself In a far away country, one he is totally ignorant of their way of living. No wonder the scripture described him as living a riotous life, which implies that’s their way of life which he was to conform to if he was to be an adopted citizen of this new country he now belongs to.
WHAT LED TO HIM BECOMING A PRODIGAL?
1. He was confused about his identity. [gal 4:1, Matt 5:15, psalm 82,6]
2. He became yoked with unbelievers. [proverbs 1:10]
3. He thought he will be free if he leaves his father and go to become what he wants. [ Romans 12:2]
4. He sort to find his identity in the world. [ John 17:16, 1john 5:19]
5. He never knew it didn’t realize he has been separated from sin and brought into life.
Although the prodigal son left, but all that made him leave was all tied to his identity. The moment he lost sight of who he was “A SON” he thought he was just a child, as a child never realizes or knows it’s place until he grows to become a son then can he truly know how important he is and what he is called into.
After realizing what he has done, sin rubbed on his face just as the dirt he had been feeding on. Oh! Sin now victorious, it’s scheme has been acheived, he no longer qualify as a son but a servant just to get a better life than he had been to because of his identity which he has lost.
Here is where grace comes to play, a father whose nature is love sits waiting for his blind son( because he never knew he was a son)and lost son( sin had covered and made him run away from father and stayed out of reach) hoping he’d just turn around and come home. But this Father is never far away. He’s very close to welcome is back into our inheritance regardless of how we have squandered His grace.
We don’t have to leave to be a prodigal, all the devil needs to make us prodigal is to just doubts, as this leads to uncertainty and we begin to question this love we don’t deserve but He gives unconditionally and holes us with the world while we keep face as a devout believer while secretly reject his love and squander His grace.