Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
People who attend Church on a regular basis, those who attend Sunday School, and those who attend weekly Bible Study surely have heard the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Even so, they probably have not used the sermon or the teaching to identify their own pig pen living. Like the son in the parable, many people need to come to their senses, leave the pig pen they are living in, and return to their Father.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
Before we get to the part when the young son admitted he needed to come to his sense and go home, let's explore how and why he got to that point.
Jesus tells the story of a certain man who had two sons. The younger son wanted several things he was not getting by staying at home with his father and older brother.
1. His Inheritance
The younger son asked for his inheritance. No one gets an inheritance until a relative dies. When the son asked for his inheritance, he was acting as if his father was already dead. When he made his odd request, he was in effect saying, "I can't wait for you to die for me to get money. Therefore, I want it now because you are already dead to me." (Luke 15:11-12)
2. His Independence
The younger son wanted his freedom to do what he wanted to do without any restraints. Therefore, after his father gave him his inheritance, he went as far away from home as he could.
After receiving his inheritance, he engaged in “riotous living” and squandered all of it by living a wicked and self-indulgent life. He bought what you wanted, ate what he wanted, and drank what he wanted. He was always surrounded by people he thought were his friends. Therefore, he treated them with whatever they wanted.
The Turning Point
There is a major change in the parable after the young boy had spent all his money. His so-called friends left him and he had nowhere to turn. He was homeless and hungry.
He accepted a job to feed pigs even though the Jewish people shouldn't be around pigs and surely they are not supposed to eat what the pigs ate. In order to survive the boy began to live like the pigs he was hired to feed. He filled his stomach with the husks that the pigs did not eat. (Luke 15:14-17)
The New International Version (NIV) of the Bible says, "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!'" The King James Version (KJV) of the Bible puts it this way, "And when he came to himself, he said, 'How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!'"
Noticed the change occurred only after the prodigal son "came to his senses" or "came to himself."
The Return Home
After the prodigal son had an epiphany and realized where he was and what he was doing, he immediately got up and went to his father with the confession that he had sinned against God and again his earthly father. He said he was no longer worthy to be called his father's son. He asked his father for something different this time. He requested to be made one of the hired servants. (Luke 15:18-19)
According to Luke 15:20-24, the father saw his son from a distance. He had compassion for his son and ran to meet him. When he came close enough, the father fell on his son's neck and kissed him. The father said to his servants to bring the best robe and put it on his son. He also asked for a ring for his hand and shoes for his feet. Then the father killed his fatted calf to be cooked and served during a celebration that his son was dead but is alive again.
Two Others Who Came to Their Senses
The Bible records the action of two other biblical characters who came to their senses. Jonah went in the opposite direction after God commanded him to go to Nineveh to preach to the people. The prophet was thrown off a ship and ended up in the belly of a great fish. He was there for three days until he came to his senses and told God he would carry out his assignment. After the fish spit Jonah out of his mouth, Jonah ran all the way to Nineveh and did what God had told him to do.
The Samaritan woman had a one-on-one conversation with Jesus at the well. After He told her all about herself, she came to her senses, dropped her water pail and ran back to town to tell others to "Come, see a man." (John 4)
Once the people came to their senses there was an urgency to what they wanted to do. . Therefore, they all ran.
A lot of wonderful things can happen when you come to your senses. Until you do, your life might not be blessed. Coming to your senses just might be the key that will unlock good things for you.
Final Words: "Come to your senses!"
- Customs in the Parable of the Prodigal Son
You must understand that the Parable of the Prodigal Son is the last one in a trilogy of three parables. All three parables have the same theme: lost and found. Jesus told all three parable at one sitting, but preachers usually preach only one and th