"I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'"
When the foolish young son took the money and ran, he left home sick of sonship and tired of having to live by his dad's rules. He was ready to be large and in charge.
Each of us have a little of the younger son in us. We don't want to conform, we don't want to cooperate, we want to control! We think, just as he did, "When I run the show, life will get a whole bunch better!"
So when we read this little parable we are not just reading about him we are also reading about us! How did Jesus know that? I wonder.
Well, let's see how this First Century version of hope and change worked out for the kid. You know the story. When the money ran out so did the friends, the fun and the freedom. Now he was destitute, desparate and despising life. He went from being a partner in the family enterprise to being a pig feeder for a stranger. He discovered the huge difference between sonship and slavery. Suddenly, sonship was looking good. In a matter of weeks he had gone from living in luxury surrounded by the lavish love of his father to hustling the hogs for some husks.
How could he have been so wrong? Why couldn't he see that he had been surrounded by love and yet unable to experience that love? His selfish desire for power kept him from receiving the love of the father.
But that was then and this is now. Now he was headed home smelling like a hog and hungry as a horse. Once hoping to be a big shot, now he was hoping to catch a break. If he was going to be a slave he may as well see if he can hire on with his dad.
He left home feeling smug, now he was heading home feeling small. If he could just catch on as a servant for his father his life would get better and his future would be more certain.
Here's the point in this episode. Selfish pride keeps you and me from receiving the lavish love of the father. BUT, when we return to the father with the heart of a servant things change. There is room for love in a servant's heart.
How about your heart? Are you enjoying the lavish love of your Father? If not, are their some pride issues? Some control issues? Don't live another day outside of the lavish love of God.