Archive for November 10, 2017

Jesus told a parable of a man who hit bottom. He had everything going for him, but greed and pride pushed him over the edge. His story is found in Luke 15. While this is not a true story, but rather an illustration, it shares a great truth that resonates with many people.

There was a rather wealthy man, a farmer who had two sons. The older son was a hard working man. He has problems of his own and he is actually the main reason Jesus told the story, but for now our main focus is on the younger brother. One day the younger brother had enough of the hard work of farm life. He thought “Dad has tons of money. I could live well for years without all this hard work if I could just get my inheritance now.” So he went to His father and asked for just that.

Now let’s freeze the story there for a second. Do you realize how harsh, cold and thoughtless this is? By asking his father for his inheritance in advance, he is essentially saying to his father, “I can’t wait until you die. I want it all and I want it now!” Can you imagine the devastation you would feel if someone you loved did this to you? Now again we need to remember, this is not a true story, it’s an illustration. The father in the story represents God and the sons represent us. The younger son asking for the advance inheritance is essentially the same as when we go to  God expecting His blessings but not living to honor him. This is the essence of sin.

Back to our story. Most of us would probably have responded differently but the father hears his sons request and grants it. Now according to Jewish law, the older son would have received a double share, so essentially the younger son would receive a third of the estate. He just received a third of everything the father worked his entire life to gain. Suddenly the younger son finds himself with a fat wallet and few responsibilities. The very next day he took off to a far country, and like many young men who end up with money rapidly, so begins the party. At first it’s great. He’s living that old Styx song, You know, “[He’s] got dozens of friends and the fun never ends, that is as long as [he’s] buying.”  And that’s how it goes until one day, his first century equivalent of a credit card is declined. Once that happens it’s a different story.  All his “friends in low places” are gone, and he find himself alone, broke and lonely, not to mention homeless. His inheritance is gone and he finds himself in dire need.