The party is over!
The big problem with sin, is for the most part its enjoyable!
Hebrews 11:25 “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”
Unfortunately, for the sinner though, its pleasure doesn’t last and it always has consequences. In other words – there is always a big price tag attached! The party is soon over!
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Luke 15: 14 “But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. 15 Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.”
For the prodigal son therefore, this is exactly what he comes to realise, as his money soon runs out and unfortunately for him, this coincides, with severe country-wide famine! Suddenly, he finds himself alone, in need and desperate. Rashly, he joins himself to a citizen of the country who breeds pigs. All that does though, is increase his hunger, as the pigs seem to be better fed than him!
The phrase: “no one gave him anything” is particularly poignant, as at one point he had everything: including a family, food and a job. Now however, he has nothing. He is living in a graceless society; it’s survival of the fittest! Ironically, later on in the story, the elder son later accuses the Father of never giving him a goat to celebrate with his friends, insinuating the Father’s lack of generosity – go figure!
Alone and empty
7 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, 19 and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”
Now, he’s got lots of time time to think! Suddenly, he comes to the realisation that if he doesn’t do something drastic – then he’s soon going to be in the grave: dead from starvation. In other words he going to ‘perish’ with hunger – there’s our greek word ‘appolymi’ or ‘lost’ again!
He comes to life!
I love it though, when it says that ‘he came to himself’. It’s as if he’s been asleep and finally he’s begun to wake up. Indeed, the dead son is coming back to life! He realises how stupid he’s been! Even the servants in his Father’s house are better fed than him! Anyway, that’s what his grumbling and empty stomach tells him. In fact, maybe these dire circumstances are a blessing in disguise? Could it be, that his Father prayed every day for his son’s return and yet God engineered a famine? Who knows!
Partly, this parable is again about repentance or a change of mind. This is what we see as the prodigal comes to his senses! This results in an action plan and a simple decision – he’s going home.
What am I going to say?
However, what is he going to say? How will his Father react? This time however, instead of demanding what’s is his from his Father, he’s going to approach with humility: confessing that he sinned against heaven (God) and also towards his Father – the angels are already holding a party!
However, although his humility is good, like the elder son, the younger son doesn’t yet really know the heart of his Father because his solution is to become a slave. He’s playing safe and setting his expectations low. He can believe that his Father might be merciful because after all, he still family but the abundant; over the top; magnificent hyper-grace that he’s about to receive – no way. If he’s lucky, he thinks he might be to spend a few nights bedding down in the stables?
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