Thursday, August 05, 2010

The forgotten twist in 'The Prodigal Son' story


I've heard this story preached many times before, including twice this week. The emphasis used to be on the son. Then people used to focus on 'the loving Father'. More recently I've heard an awful lot about the elder brother.

But in all the times I've heard this preached, there's one aspect of the story that I've never heard a sermon on...

Luke 15v11-13:
Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.
"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.
And so on...
Did you notice the first twist in the story?

The younger son goes to the father and said (in essence) "Give me everything I'll get when you are dead". This is fairly shocking in itself, but the amazing thing here is that the father does this!

What does this tell us about God? He's prepared to give the full share of inheritance to those who reject him, wish him dead, or even deny his existence? What does that mean in practice?

1 comment:

Markio said...

The question in issue for me, is what is the inheritance?

The thing is with parables, is that there are as many different readings as there are Christians. And I am certainly no scholar.

But, to me it appears that the inheritance is two-fold.

That which can be squandered. And that which cannot.

What is it that He gives us now? my guess, material things, human relationships etc

What is it that we cannot get yet? that which we cannot throw away, because we only have a token of it?

I'd say life eternal.