But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.” Luke 15: 17-24.
Celebrate means to observe a special day or event with ceremonies or festivities.
The prodigal son is a common told parable, which we have all heard at one time or another; being mindful that this was one of the three given on this occasion by Jesus. The first is of a lost sheep, where the Shepard leaves the 99 in search of the one missing sheep. The second is about women that lost one of 10 coins and rejoiced once it was found.
The last parable is of a prodigal son that leaves home and requests all of his inheritance from the father. After leaving his father’s house and wasting all his inheritance, he realized that life was better when he stayed with his father than living on his own. The life changing event that took place was the weight of the responsibility. The responsibility was easy when the friends were there helping him spend the money and partying. The things he had gained came from his father so he did not carry the weight of provision on his own.
After all the money was spent and the inheritance was gone, now the weight of providing for himself was felt. All the friends that helped him with the responsibility of spending his money were gone. The father carried the weight of creating the inheritance for the son and all the son has done up to this point was live and spend money. After this he came to himself and noticed that he was caring an unnecessary weight, and then he returned home.
The prodigal son is the longest of the three parables, because it reached the largest of the groups that was present at this time which are the sinners. This is a reminder that regardless of where you have been and what you have done our Father in heaven is always waiting and happy to receive you back in his house with a great celebration and noise of rejoicing. Welcome home!
Minister Bernard Harper, Jr. is the assistant pastor of Emmanuel New Covenant Ministry and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.