I will be sharing stories from the Bible. I am NOT trying to influence your beliefs or tell you what to believe. I also expect you to respect me and my beliefs. If you do not believe in the Bible, that is okay, you don’t have to read the post or you can take it simply as a story.
Then Jesus said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that will belong to me.’ So he divided his assets between them. After a few days, the younger son gathered together all he had and left on a journey to a distant country, and there he squandered his wealth with a wild lifestyle. Then after he had spent everything, a severe famine took place in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and worked for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He was longing to eat the carob pods the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. But when he came to his senses he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have food enough to spare, but here I am dying from hunger! I will get up and go to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired workers.”’ So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way from home his father saw him, and his heart went out to him; he ran and hugged his son and kissed him. Then his son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Hurry! Bring the best robe, and put it on him! Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet! Bring the fattened calf and kill it! Let us eat and celebrate, because this son of mine was dead, and is alive again – he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate.
“Now his older son was in the field. As he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the slaves and asked what was happening. The slave replied, ‘Your brother has returned, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he got his son back safe and sound.’ But the older son became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and appealed to him, but he answered his father, ‘Look! These many years I have worked like a slave for you, and I never disobeyed your commands. Yet you never gave me even a goat so that I could celebrate with my friends! But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your assets with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and everything that belongs to me is yours. It was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost and is found.’”
I am taking this story from Bible.org. (Luke 15:11-32)
When I had first read this parable I didn’t understand why the son who hadn’t done anything wrong was rewarded. For me, I work hard in school and I get good grades as my rewards; however, teachers begin to expect it from me. When a student who normally does poorly, or at least had recently, suddenly does better, they are quickly rewarded or praised by the teacher.
Some may find faults in this story saying the son is being rewarded for bad behavior. The parable is not proving this, it is showing those who ask for forgiveness (and truly mean it) will be forgiven and rewarded.
The meaning behind this story, in my opinion, is that those who always do “good” can easily forget that they still sin as we are all human and need to ask for forgiveness. Although the son that stayed may not have committed more severe sins, he didn’t ask for forgiveness for the sins he did commit.
This story shares with us that although we may not all be terrible people, we still need to ask forgiveness from God.