And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would gladly have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. 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! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee. And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father.Lk. 15:11-32
Must have been a million messages preached about the Prodigal Son…seems I have heard that many. I have written a couple of books about “pigs” – unclean spirits…demons, but this is different. I wondered about the pigs that the prodigal spent time with. I want to share with you some things that stand out to me from this great chapter in the Bible, Lk. 15:11-32
The father in this parable is not God the Father, he is an earthly father with two sons. You have read the story, you know the parable. The younger son is the “prodigal son”. Look first at the…
POSITION OF THE SON
He asked for and received his father’s blessings. There were no strings attached. He was free to leave, and he was free to return. His relationship was not altered by his reasoning and reaction. He took the father’s blessings, but he forsook his father’s beliefs! He could only see the greener grass; he was unable to see the pig pen. Many times, forsaking your father’s beliefs leads to a pig pen instead of greener grass.
What this son learned by painful experience he could have known by simple respect for his father’s teaching and training. This young man was instilled with certain rights…still he left! His greatest possession was not the financial gain he received but the relationship to the father that did not change … but look at the…
PREDICAMENT OF THE SON
His desperate reasoning led to degenerate results. His riotous living blinded him to righteous love. With his rebellious departure came fears of a rejecting dad…”What if I’ve gone too far? What if my dad rejects me?” He must have been consumed with self-degradation. But he kept on going until he had spent everything. Pride of rebellion kept him in the pig pen. He must have thought he was only a miserable failure…however, when we undermine ourselves, we underestimate God!
The thing that precipitated his return had to be the possibility of restoration. Even in his desperate situation he did not lose hope. Because the father’s great love for the son is demonstrated in this parable, I think I can say with assurance that the father did not lose hope either and faithfully prayed for his son.
PERSUASION OF THE SITUATION
Persuaded by the pigs or by the prayers? He was so far down that he “gladly would have eaten with the pigs”. Many times, when you leave without the father’s blessing the path home goes thru the pig pen. The expedience of his situation could have been avoided by obedience. However, it wasn’t. He was at his lowest point. He probably by this time even had pet pigs and maybe had given some of them names. He swallowed his pride in the slop of the pigs! Oh, how he hurt. It was more than sorrow for self…that can only bring regret. There was godly sorrow involved, godly sorrow works repentance. He confessed…I have sinned!
The expedience of his situation could have been avoided by obedience. However, it wasn’t. He was at his lowest point. He probably by this time even had pet pigs and maybe had given some of them names. He swallowed his pride in the slop of the pigs! Oh, how he hurt. It was more than sorrow for self…that can only bring regret. There was godly sorrow involved, godly sorrow works repentance. He confessed…I have sinned!
He wasn’t sure the father still loved him, but he knew he loved the father. He determined to go home and get right. He said to himself…the hired servants in my father’s house have plenty to eat and I perish with hunger. I will arise and go to my father. He did more than just say it, HE DID IT.
Rather than focus here on the father’s great love and forgiveness…I wonder if maybe one of the little pigs might have said to him, “Did you say there is plenty of food in your father’s house?” “Oh yeah, there is food to spare…” He says. The pig responds with, “Do you think I could go with you…I mean, food to spare…”The son says, “Sure you can go with me, you’ll be welcome in the father’s house.”
THE PROBLEM OF THE SOW
They arrive at the father’s house and the son is greeted with great joy, great forgiveness and celebration. They prepare a party and a feast in his honor. I can just see the son taking the pig to his room and showing him his bed and the shower…the little pig says, “Where’s the mud?”
“Oh, we don’t have mud in the father’s house, everything is clean and neat “. The little pig raises his eyebrows but decides he’ll try it. They go down to eat and the table is set, napkins and silverware are in place. The pig is shown his seat and while “grace” is being said, he climbs up on the table and begins to gobble down the food…he’s knocking plates off the table and making disgusting noises. The son eventually gets him under control and takes him back to his room…he says, “We don’t do things like that in the father’s house…”After a few days of enduring the misery, the pig says to himself, I’m not like them, all this clean stuff is getting to me, I know what I’ll do I’ll arise and go to my father…
You can get the pig in the church, but you can’t get church in the pig. You can put a new suit on the old man, but it’s a new man you need in the old suit. Some cannot be at peace in the father’s house because there is too much of the world in them and it’s constantly calling. The prodigal pig went back to the slop and the mud.
Seven Things the Father Didn’t Do
1. He didn’t withhold his material goods from his son
2. He didn’t become conditional in his love
3. He didn’t chase after him
4. He didn’t let grief rob his life
5. He Never gave up
6. He didn’t say “I told you so”
7. He didn’t exclude others in his rejoicing
Thank you so much for your support and especially for your prayers!
Just for Jesus,