The Prodigal Son—Luke 15:11-32

As we walk in Jesus’ footsteps, we may stray from the path he set. These failures can lead us to feel unworthy of our calling. Nevertheless, we must remember that without Christ’s sacrifice and covering, we could never be worthy. We must not allow these thoughts of discouragement to linger. They are a tool of the Adversary.

There is security in our relationship with God. He looks at us as sons and daughters. He has begotten us by his holy spirit and has provided for our justification in his sight and the Lord as our advocate.—Rom 8:31-34; 1 John 2:1,2

This reminds us of the story of the prodigal son. The prodigal son disregarded his father’s counsel, squandered his inheritance and ignored his opportunity to stay with his father. This is similar to when we sin after having embarked on walking in the narrow way. (Matt. 7:13) The prodigal son degraded himself in every way possible and ends up mucking out a pig sty and craving what the pigs eat. He and the pigs were in a similar state, but there was a big difference between the son and the pigs. The pigs could not say to themselves, “I will arise and go to my father.” (Luke 15:18) When the prodigal son came home, his father welcomed him, cleaned him up and then, celebrated his return because, despite all of his mistakes, he was still his father’s son.—vss. 20-32

The son knew that he was unworthy of this treatment. (vs. 19) Still, it did not stop him from returning to his father with repentance in his heart. The son knew he had failed, but he humbly desired to rejoin his father’s household, regardless of the position.

Paul reminds us that he, too, had failings, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Rom. 7:24, New International Version) Paul assures us that God is just as anxious to welcome us back if we would return to him. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”—Rom. 8:1 NIV

Therefore, let us always remember that if we are willing to correct our path and return to God through the merit of Jesus’ sacrifice, he will be just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.—1 John 1:9

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