The Prodigal Son – Then and Now

Some of my best friends were prodigal sons and daughters before Jesus rescued them and brought them home.

The Book of Ephesians describes what God has done for every human, including the most notable prodigals.

— Ephesians 2.1-7 You were dead through the trespasses and sins

In which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient.

All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.

But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us

Even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

So that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

If you prayerfully meditate on the Ephesians 2 passage, God’s amazing love for humans will be evident.

Our story is similar in key points of interest.

— We willfully step across God’s “No Trespassing” sign and follow the directions of the evil one.

— No one is exempt from God’s judgment, because we all have lived as disobedient people.

— God’s rich mercy, love, and grace compels him give us life through the work of his Son.

— God does not stop with new life. He raises us to a place where we work together with Jesus within his kingdom.

A Parable of New Life

The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15.11-24) tells the story of a young man who typifies Paul’s theology in Ephesians 2.

— Luke 15.11-13 – A young son took his inheritance early in life and squandered it on loose living.

— Luke 15.14-16 – Living separate from his father, he ran out of resources and hired himself out to a pig farmer. This life brought him to the brink of starvation.

— Luke 15.17-19 – When he reached “rock bottom,” he rehearsed a speech that he planned to deliver to his father, asking to be one of his father’s workers.

— Luke 15.20 – Jesus was criticized by the religious authorities for eating with tax collectors and sinners.

Jesus’ behavior was similar to the father of the prodigal, who continually surveyed the road to his home while hoping for his son’s return.

— Luke 15.21-24 – The son came home and began to repeat the speech he had rehearsed, but the father began preparations for a party.

The “dead” son came to life and was given the status of full sonship.

The son did nothing to merit the father’s response. All he did was to come home. The father did the rest.

Recalling Paul’s message to the church in Ephesus, God’s work in our lives shows “the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2.7).

Our Response

There are a few ways I hope people will respond to today’s blog article.

(1) Please spend a few minutes praying and meditating on Ephesians 2.1-7 in the light of the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

(2) Ask God if there is a prodigal that you need to welcome home to God’s presence.

Just as Jesus used table fellowship to welcome people “dead in trespasses and sins” into God’s kingdom, we can do the same.

Ask God if there is someone he wants to reach through you in 2022.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I discuss the Parable of the Prodigal Son in today’s YouTube video. Rudy has insights that come from years of Bible study and a love for God. You will want to hear his thoughts.

The videos are on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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