"My son, 'the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." Luke 15: 31 & 32
The story of the prodigal son is probably one of the most famous parables told by Jesus. The story is quite simple. The younger son asked his father for his inheritance and then spent it on frivolous pleasures. He came back home to ask his father for a servants job, thinking that his father would be unforgiving of his behavior. The father, however, receives his son with open arms and gives him a huge banquet to celebrate his return. The older brother is angry at his fathers response to his younger son and refuses to come to the party.
I was very surprised when I looked up the word prodigal. I thought it meant reckless, irresponsible, and careless. I now see that my opinion of that son was what I was using as a basis for my incorrect definition. The word prodigal means recklessly extravagant, having spent everything. Of course, being recklessly extravagant can lead to the circumstances that this young boy found himself in. Destitute and famished. But, being prodigal can also be used to describe the father. The father offered his younger son total forgiveness, holding none of his mistakes and sins against him. Many would think that this type of reaction was extravagant. And it was.
The father in this parable represents God. Our God, who sent His only Son to die for our sins so that we will have eternal life if we believe and trust in Him. The only way God could forgive our sins was by giving up Jesus to a horrible death on the cross. Is that not extravagant? Do you not find that lavish and abundant? God is very prodigal!
The grace of our prodigal God is the only hope we have. God's grace pardon's our sins. Our sin was left at the cross and our extravagant God opens His arms to welcome us home. Prodigal? Thank goodness. I was lost, but now I'm found. So were you.