Thursday, 25 August 2011

The Prodigal Son


I've had this idea I wanted to write about but I don't know if I'll be able to sufficiently do justice to it so I have been hesitant to write about it so try keep that in mind if things don't make complete sense.

So firstly lets grab the NIV version. I don't have a preference at this stage this was simply the first one I found on Google.

 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.

There :) Ok so here goes.

This verse promotes stealing a bike over patiently saving pocket money and buying one.
Why live a wise hardworking life when you can go and do whatever you feel like it, to be rescued when things go badly or you get tired of such a life?

Wild living is simply better than hard working. It's easier in most ways. Frequently you can avoid the consequences of your actions and if you can avoid the terrible ending then why not? Its like being able to have the best of both worlds. Troubling, it really doesn't give much motivation to be wise and hard working at all. Instead it really seems like permission to go and get rowdy, drink, do drugs and sleep around (thats my definition of Wild Living, im presuming it isn't Bear Grylls version).

But the reality is, it doesn't. It is a reality that you can only understand when you understand what the cost to your soul is. My body will pass, but my soul, spirit, chi or whatever name you want to give it, THAT will live on. What you do in THIS life impacts you for this life AND the next. God also understands us a great deal better than we do ourselves. He created us and knows what is BEST for us. I think its easy to mistake BEST for 'Good'. BEST is BEST. That means the life following God without sin is better than a life filled with it. I don't know about you, but some sin is very very tempting. Like greed. I struggle to give God the credit he deserves, afterall it seems to me the older son (who did everything right) gets shafted. If i were him I would feel as though I had wasted my opportunity to live my life.

The reward is not the fathers love, that is unconditional. The reward comes from acting out what we were created to do which is a reward in itself.

What is never discussed is the after. Jesus doesn't need to bring that up because it doesn't matter to the audience he is talking to. The prodigal sons and daughters are in need. They need to know that God will forgive them are accept them into home regardless of what they have done. However, I don't think it would be a stretch to assume the young son had to work very very hard for his Father. He had, after all, squandered a significant fortune away and was now left with nothing. The older brother having stayed with the father and worked hard to build up a life for himself had everything he could ever need or want. The fruits of his hard labour had payed off, everything the father owned was his. However, the brother could only think about how the grace that was freely given to the younger brother was too much.

Those who have sinned and turned to God with a HUMBLE heart will find Grace. Those who have been faithful to the lord will have their just reward BUT Grace is not theirs by deeds. You could be faithful to the lord but not be humble and therefore miss out on Grace.

Taking liberties with scriptures? Well perhaps, it makes a bit of sense to me.

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