The Parable I’ve Always Hated

My least favorite parable for as long as I can remember has been the prodigal son. It has always made me angry at what I considered an injustice. It doesn’t seem fair to live as the “good” son. I find myself on that side of the fence because I’ve always felt I fell into the good son category. I came to accept Christ at age 14, after going to church for a few months with my Aunt Kay. I immediately felt a passion to know and share Jesus. I organized a youth rally with very limited adult help by age 16. I have never partied, been drunk, or done what we often consider living a sinful life.

 

After getting married we witnessed happenings within the church body that made us decide we weren’t going to attend. We lived life away from a church for five years, but still held Christ values and lifestyle. I don’t tell you this to make myself sound sinless by any means. I promise I am quick to judge, quick to anger at times, impatient and bossy. As I’ve always felt about the good son, he wasn’t perfect he just didn’t run off to live irresponsible and totally for himself.

 

This is why I’ve always found a parable of a son who was greedy, selfish, a partier and living only for fleshly desires alone pretty darn unfair.

 

It ticked me off honestly. Why does the guy who was a complete jerk (with a capital J) get a huge party, the nicest of robes, jewelry and the best steak of his life? While the other brother, who had stayed, serving and helping his father for years dedicating himself to the work his father has for him gets none of it. There was no party. No public recognition. No filet mignon for him to feast on. No praises of his steadfast work and servant hood. No songs were sung.

our economy isn't gods economy

In verse 31 of Luke 15, the father tells the good son when he got angry “that everything I [the father] have is yours [the good son]”. To me that has sounded like a pat on the hand saying, oh, now don’t be like that. I’ll tell you what I think you want to hear so you stop whining and feeling sorry for yourself. I will say I didn’t like the sons angry response but I could relate.

 

Yes, you can tell me think I’m a terrible bible teacher, but this has been how I’ve felt for years. I didn’t want to read about it or hear a sermon on it because it always ended in me rolling my eyes. I just couldn’t get it to fit my picture of what fairness looked like. I know it’s terrible but I’m keeping it real for you!

 

Until, oh yes there is an until, last Sunday. You all remember my temper tantrum – yikes. You gave me so much love last week after I confessed my ugly wretched heart out to you and I love each one of you so much for it! Last Sunday while singing the name of Jesus, tears streaming down my face, I heard a voice that sounded like my own, but my voice would not have said this. A voice that said “see this is why the lost son was welcomed back.” You were the lost son filled with doubts, anger and an unwillingness to turn to me. My justice works like grace.

God's justice looks like grace

I finally got it. We are all the lost son, no matter how long we serve him. How we dedicate ourselves to shining His love. We are all dirty. We all roll around in the filth of wanting our own way. When we get up out of the dirt and walk home hanging our heads, he runs to meet us. He covers us with His robe. We feast again at His table. The Lord loves the dirty and lost. It isn’t fairness, it is love. It isn’t justice, it is grace.

 

featured on #wordswithwinter link up

This weeks featured blogger is Angela with her post Do You Feel Disqualified? I’m pretty sure we all are going to relate to this gem!

 

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