Luke 15:32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
We have here one of the sad passages in Scripture. We see a son, who has grown up in the home of a loving father, who provided and cared and worked and saved for him. And yet, he came to his father and demanded his portion of the inheritance prematurely. Without a spirit of gratefulness, and without the maturity to handle that wealth and newfound freedom, he went and spent up all that he hath, riotously (wildly, without control, with bad company). After he spends all he has, we see a young man who, at one time was in the safe home of the father, no doubt waited on and looked after by the servants, with all his needs met, now, feeding pigs in the field and in the mud, planning on eating the slop that that the pigs ate to fill his empty stomach. What a sad commentary. What a tragic outcome. However, as he’s there, he thinks back to the father’s house. He thinks of the safety, warmth, and provisions. He thinks of the servants of the father, and how he takes care of them, and comes up with a plan – I will go back, and humble myself before my father, and live as a servant in his house. And thank God for a loving father. For when he was far away, the father came and met him, and hugged him, and wept with joy. He made a great feast, called all into the house, and there was a great celebration, for the lost son had come home.
That was the first unfortunate event in this passage. The second is at the end. While this celebration is going on, the older brother, who hadn’t wasted his living, and hadn’t lived riotously, and hadn’t taken the rest of the money and wasted it, comes into the picture, hearing music and dancing. Upon asking one of the servants, he finds out that his brother is home, and that there is a celebration for him. He is quite upset, and when the father addresses it, he makes what seems to be a pretty fair argument. Why would we celebrate this guy’s homecoming, when I’ve stayed, faithfully, and worked, and saved, and obeyed, and I’ve never been given this type of party? And yet the father entreats (pleads with, begs, tries to reason with) him to understand, and to rejoice that the prodigal has come home.
There is so much we can learn from this passage. First, is the repercussions of leaving the Father. We must take note and beware. The second lesson is that, when a prodigal goes out into the world, and “wastes his substance with riotous living”, and comes back to seek the Father, we ought to be there, with the Father, Who has open arms, ready to receive them and help them to come home. Let us be like the loving Father, and like His servants, whom we are, loving, and ever seeking the lost sheep, to bring him back into the fold.