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The Prodigal Son

The story in Luke 15:1–24 tells of a man who had two sons. The younger of the two asked his father to give him the portion of goods (money) that was to be given to him at a later date. The father gave this son what he asked for. Instead of spending it wisely, he began to spend it foolishly. This story has seven steps down and seven steps up that this young man would go through.

The first step in verse 12 is the father giving the son what he wanted, or what is called self-will. Verse 13 is that of selfishness by spending his new-found wealth on himself. He simply wasted it, as scripture says, on “riotous living.” We all are guilty of this type of living at some point in our lives. We may come into a sudden sum of money and the first thing that we want to do is spend it. It burns a hole in our pocket until it is gone.

The next step down is separation; we may leave our family to go sow our wild seeds. What causes us to be sensual in our living? Living only for ourselves and no one else. The next step down is spiritual destitution, which causes depression and despair. As this son continued his downward spiral, he experienced self-abasement, or cast himself low by eating food that was meant for swine. His final step down was starvation because he had spent all of his money on foolish things. His father could have sent money to him, but he chose not to because he wanted his son to experience the consequences of what he had done. In other words his son needed to see the error of his ways.

This son is now at the bottom of his downfall, but he came to his senses. He realized that at his father’s house there was plenty of food to eat with plenty left over. So he resolved to himself that it was time to go home. This is the second step in his upward climb. He then realized that he had sinned against his father for what he had done. This is the third step in his upward climb. He then returned to his father’s house as he continued to climb out of the wasteful life that he had been living. This is the fourth step that he had to take. The fifth step that he had to take was that of being reconciled back to his father.

When his father saw him coming down the road, he went out to meet him with hugs and kisses welcoming him home. When this young man left his father’s house he had money and probably fine clothing. But after he had spent all of his money and having to eat with swine, his clothing became tattered and torn. When his father saw him, he told the servants to get the best robe and put it on him. The sixth step back up was to receive a new robe. The seventh and final step back up was to rejoice. This occurred when the father saw him and they ate and were merry.

Does this story sound like something that you have been through? Jesus told this story to make a point. The point was that we have done exactly what this young man did. The difference is, we have done this against our heavenly Father. God is waiting for us to take the seven steps upward so He can welcome us home someday. We can be encouraged that Jesus died so that we can be reconciled back to God. These scriptures will help you understand how we are justified through the Lord Jesus Christ. We all have sinned and came short of the glory of God. But thanks be to God, He provided a way to escape His wrath and live with Him for all eternity. All we have to do is to accept Jesus as our Savior by asking Him into our lives. God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins. But we have to take the first step and these other things will fall into place.

If you are not saved, I encourage you to become saved because tomorrow may be too late. Romans 5:1–18 explains what great blessings we receive when we are reconciled back to God.

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David Smith

David Smith has worked at Southwest Radio Ministries since October 2013. David is a ordained minister and writes articles of encouragement for the website. He takes care of the radio billing and works in the mail room.

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