The Story of the Prodigal Son
Jesus overheard a group of people grumbling about him.
“He hangs out with sinners, and even eats with them,” they complained.
So, Jesus told them this story:
“A man had two sons,” Jesus said. “The younger son came to him and said, ‘Father, give me the money you planned to leave me when you die. I want it now.’”
“The father’s heart was heavy, but he decided to divide his property between his two sons. The older son continued to work faithfully for his father, but the younger son took his inheritance and traveled to another country.”
“It didn’t take long for him to spend everything his father had given him on foolish things and wild living. One morning, when there was a famine in the land, he woke up hungry, with no money in his pocket. He decided to look for work.”
“A farmer hired him to feed his pigs. The younger son found out taking care of pigs was a messy business. He carried baskets of bean pods to the muddy puddle where the pigs were cooling off. His stomach growled as he watched the pigs heave themselves out of the mud and gobble-up their food. For the first time in many weeks, the younger son began to think clearly.”
“‘My father’s servants have plenty to eat, with food to spare. Here I am, starving and wishing I had some of the pods the pigs are eating! I’ll go home to my father and ask him to forgive me and to take me on as a servant. I don’t deserve to be called his son anymore!’”
“He started off, hungry and dirty. When at last he got close to his father’s home, he was surprised to see his father, looking down the road. When the father recognized his son, he ran toward him with arms wide-open.”
“’Father, please forgive me. I was wrong and I sinned against heaven and sinned against you,” cried the son. “I know I’m not fit to be called your son, but please let me work for you as a servant.’”
“The father was overjoyed. ‘Quick, someone get a fire going! Kill that calf we’ve been fattening-up and roast it. Bring my son the best robe, and sandals. Put a ring on his finger. We’re going to stop everything and celebrate my son’s homecoming! My son was lost, but now he’s found. He was dead to us, but he’s alive again!’”
But the older son, who had been working for his father all this time was furious.
“’I’m not coming to the party,’ he told his father. ‘This isn’t fair! You never roasted a calf for me, even though I toil for you day after day!’”
“’Son,’ said his father. ‘Everything I have is yours. But we have to celebrate. Your brother lost, but he came home to us. He was dead, but he’s alive again!’”
I wonder what prodigal means?
I wonder what inheritance means?
I wonder why the father was sad when he divided his property between his two sons?
I wonder why the father was looking down the road when his son came home?
I wonder why forgiveness changes things?