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Parables Of Jesus Christ: The Lost Son

The Messiah's parable of the lost son (also known as the parable of the profligate son; profligate means recklessly wasteful):

"15:11 And he said, A certain man had two sons: 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. 15:15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 15:16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him." (Luke 15:11-16 KJV)

"Thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found"

The word "lost" literally means to be loose, or on the loose (lose and loose are merely different spellings of the same word). The lost son became loose (again, for example, the common connection between how the "lost" have "loose morals"), but upon realizing the error of his ways, he repented to God ("Father, I have sinned against heaven") - for which his father, and his Father, forgave him. The father, and The Father, weren't condoning the wrong, but were accepting the son's turning back to the right.

True To The Father's Word

"15:17 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! 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 15:19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father.

But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had Compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry." (Luke 15:17-24 KJV)

There are true Christian people who have lived a good Christian life, as best as humanly possible, right from the time that they were little children. They read and studied the Word of God and have always worked hard to live according to it, faithfully and steadfastly. Does anyone doubt that such people will very much deserve to be in the Kingdom of God? It's an easy question, isn't it. Of course they do. They are represented in the parable by the son who remained responsible and obedient to what was right.

On the other hand, there are people who have lived very unChristian lives, some until they were young adults, some until they were middle aged, some even until they were in old age, but who did eventually repent and become good Christians too. By the time that they die, they may have only lived according to the Word of God for the last half, or the last quarter, or even the last year of their lives. But they too will receive the same salvation as the others. They are represented in the parable by the repentant "lost" son.

Some may not think that is "fair," as the elder son in the parable didn't, at first, but that in itself is the point of the parable. The different times of the parable represent the once in a lifetime (see No U Turns On The Road To Life) opportunity when those who begin to know better must do better. Some people learn the Truth early, some people learn it later, but whenever it's heard that is when the choice must be made. Time differences in this physical life are irrelevant to the timeless eternity (see also How Old Is God?) that will come for those who repent.

"15:25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. 15:26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 15:27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.

15:28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and entreated him. 15:29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 15:30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.

15:31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. 15:32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." (Luke 15:25-32 KJV)

Fact Finder: What does "bind and loose" mean?
See Bind and Loose

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