Both sons in Jesus’ parable believed it was by works that they earned a place in their father’s household. “Make me like one of your hired servants,”was the younger son’s plan, and “All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders” (Luke 15:19,29) was the older son’s self-justification for pouting.
The father interrupted the younger son’s explanation of his idea that he could earn the father’s approval by working as a servant. The father ordered lavish gifts and called him “this son of mine” (Luke 15:24).To the older son, lost without ever leaving home, the father encouraged, “My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours” (Luke 15:31).
These young men thought they needed to be slaves and servants for their father to accept them. He loved them as sons. They lived in constant fear. “Can we ever do enough?” He loved them with forgiveness, and let them live in faith and freedom.
God’s grace does not allow you to find your identity, purpose or success as a hired servant or coerced slave for your Heavenly Father. You still work, but as a son! Free. Lavished with gifts. Unconditionally loved.
Listen to this song called “No Longer Slaves” https://youtu.be/PQqkXg-C9jo, and see if you can find references in the song to Jesus’ parable of the two sons.
PRAYER: Father, your grace makes me free. Not a slave, but a child. Loved by you, I already have your acceptance and approval. Teach me to enjoy. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION:The word “prodigal” means “reckless, especially with money.” Meditate on the biblical truth that God is risky or reckless with his love. How is that represented in Jesus’ parable (Luke 15:11-32)? In what ways do you need to be more “prodigal” with your love to God and others?