The prodigal son and you

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NJA
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Luke 15:11-32
A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father,
give me the portion of goods that falls to me. And he divided unto them his living.

To be a son with your inheritance you need to have received God's Spirit (Acts 2:4 etc)
so if that's not you this parable is not for you ...

And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country,
and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

Bad decision based on poor understanding . . . he didn't value or appreciate what he had received or what might be achieved by staying with The Father, the pleasures of "the flesh" seemed better

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.

he became a servant to a stranger with different values doing what he would have been brought up to despise.

And he would fain 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!

he's emptied out, hit rock bottom, learned the hard way

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. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him,
and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

This response would have been a shock to him.
repentance brings love and mercy ...

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight,
and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants,
Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

If you choose to be a son, you can expect the best that the father has, you give him more happiness than all the stuff!

For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.
And they began to be merry. Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house,
he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf,
because he hath received him safe and sound. And he was angry,

His heart is revealed!
Outwardly this Christian is "goody two shoes", he doesn't do "bad" things ... but he doesn't appreciate love, mercy, grace or his father, because he doesn't live by these things. This guy's focus is on service, his works, stuff, he has his own friends and a servant-master "relationship" with his father, like religion.

and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. And he answering said to his father,
Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment:
and you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots,
thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.

He could have had a memorable fatted calf celebration with his friends at least once a year for many years!
He never even used so much as a kid! ... he also wasted his inheritance.

What happened next ... you can find out in your own life.

.
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PilgrimOfTruth
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Question for you . . . .

Had the son died whilst he was still living this "riotous" and fleshy life, would the Father still have welcomed him to Heaven?
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username3842822
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It's unfair that the hard work of the stable and level headed son can be taken and used to reward the foolish and disloyal son who squandered the money he took from his father. The loyal son should abandon his emotional father and degenerate brother so that he can let the entire rotten system come crashing to the ground.

The Christian Jesus is the most damaging fictional character literature has ever seen, he rewards the evil at the expense of the righteous and it was right that he was tortured and killed and the myth of his resurrection must die.
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PilgrimOfTruth
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"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"

When you look at this part of the story there's an awful disingenuousness about it. The son isn't in the least bit remorseful about leaving the family, nor is he expressing any love or concern for his Father. He is simply starving and has finally realised that his Father's servants have plenty of bread which is better than what he has now. So he goes back with the sole intention of being a servant.
This is quite key imo. He didn't go back to say that he was sorry for leaving, he went back because that's where the food was.

There are other aspects to consider in this parable. Why was the son not equipped to go out into the world and survive? Why does his parable assume and expect that the son can only survive by staying with the parent? This seems completely wrong to my mind. what had the parent been doing all this time?

And why had the parent considered his son "dead"?

Isn't it entirely natural and right that the sons should one day go out and establish their own lives? And thereby prosper?

It is an increasingly obvious fact that taking Bible text in a literal reading, is simply somehow incorrect. Much of it makes no sense when taken literally and much of it contradicts itself. There MUST be reasons for this and I firmly believe the reason is that the Bible is NOT a literal work. It is allegorical and cryptic and contains many important secrets.

We need to stop perpetuating the nonsense of leading Christians towards a literal reading and instead tell the truth, show them the allegorical and encoded secrets.
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NJA
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(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
Question for you . . . .

Had the son died whilst he was still living this "riotous" and fleshy life, would the Father still have welcomed him to Heaven?
No, repentance is required. The father knows the hearts of all, including "lost sheep", "none shall be lost".
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NJA
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(Original post by bars from mars)
It's unfair that the hard work of the stable and level headed son can be taken ...
The elder son selfishly worked for himself, he cared more for the fatted calf than his brother, this is not righteous.
That system will come crashing down soon, as it has with past empires!

The outpouring of His Spirit, transforming lives worldwide since then proves the resurrection, the myth of atheism will soon be forever exploded when he returns and "every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him."
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username3842822
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(Original post by NJA)
The elder son selfishly worked for himself, he cared more for the fatted calf than his brother, this is not righteous.
That system will come crashing down soon, as it has with past empires!
You've yet to explain why working hard for your own benefit is immoral.
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NJA
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(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
"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"

When you look at this part of the story there's an awful disingenuousness about it. The son isn't in the least bit remorseful about leaving the family, nor is he expressing any love or concern for his Father. He is simply starving and has finally realised that his Father's servants have plenty of bread which is better than what he has now. So he goes back with the sole intention of being a servant.
This is quite key imo. He didn't go back to say that he was sorry for leaving, he went back because that's where the food was.
Indeed, Jesus is pointing out that people can return to the father for natural reasons, just to get away from unkindness or poverty outside.
Nothing disingenuous about that! That was my reason for getting interested in the first place ... I later began to wake up to stronger spiritual benefits.

(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
There are other aspects to consider in this parable. Why was the son not equipped to go out into the world and survive?
He was, he'd grown up in a thriving business operation with servants in the field.


(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
Why does his parable assume and expect that the son can only survive by staying with the parent?
It doesn't. it was his profligate lifestyle that let him down.

(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
This seems completely wrong to my mind. what had the parent been doing all this time?
Running the business, and his attitude when the son returned shows he really loved him, so he would have done his best, without forcing his will.

(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
And why had the parent considered his son "dead"?
Because he was gone, as good as dead, a metaphor I believe that's called.

(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
Isn't it entirely natural and right that the sons should one day go out and establish their own lives? And thereby prosper?
There was certainly that option. Israel has a custom of primogeniture where the firstborn got a double portion so he tended to get the land while other sons has the option of doing something different.
(equally dividing the land would result in ridiculously small pieces after a few generations).

(Original post by PilgrimOfTruth)
It is an increasingly obvious fact that taking Bible text in a literal reading, is simply somehow incorrect. Much of it makes no sense when taken literally and much of it contradicts itself. There MUST be reasons for this and I firmly believe the reason is that the Bible is NOT a literal work. It is allegorical and cryptic and contains many important secrets.

We need to stop perpetuating the nonsense of leading Christians towards a literal reading and instead tell the truth, show them the allegorical and encoded secrets.
I agree on this point, especially with the prophecy and parable aspects.
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NJA
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(Original post by bars from mars)
You've yet to explain why working hard for your own benefit is immoral.
What is the moral thing to do when a foolish brother comes to their senses?

Reject them showing no mercy?
What kind of society is that?
Is that how you would treat people and like to be treated.

The parable is of the kingdom of God, The elder son's heart is opposite to the father's.

Interestingly The Hebrew word son, "Ben" means "builder of the family name", so the elder son was expected to help the younger.
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