Ogilvie explained that this one in Luke 15 is about who God is -- that the story really is about THE FATHER -- not the two boys. . . one full of independence -- one full of self-importance.
Over the years I've come to see so much about our Father in this parable:
> He didn't go looking for His boy and drag him home
> Undoubtedly, He'd heard the stories -- He knew what his youngest was up to. (Today, his pictures would have been all over Facebook)
> He merely was home waiting.
The Bible says, HE saw him off in the distance --meaning, He was not only waiting -- but watching.
The verse says HE RAN -- in those days -- Jewish men didn't run.
I can just imagine that son -- when he got to the end of himself -- and was down on his luck -- with a gnawing in his gut -- he REMEMBERED how good he had it at home. He probably rehearsed the words over and over that he was going to say to his Dad.
Terry taught me the other night that this was a well-known Jewish parable and to the Jews the hero in the story is the oldest son. . . but Jesus gave it a new twist --
He came to show us the Father and in that story he teaches the greatest lesson of redemption and a fresh start. No sooner had the words of "just let me be one of your hired hands" gets out of this son's mouth than his Dad is throwing a huge celebration.
I love this about God that HE allows us to choose and gives us freedom-- but is always standing ready to welcome us Home when we are at the end of ourselves. GOD RUNS!!!
What if the older brother, (who by this time had a big case of "what about me?" gnawing in his heart)-- what if he'd been the one to see the older brother first -- would the younger have made it back to Dad???
I know it's a PARABLE and I don't want to beat it to a pulp -- but I see so much in this story -- this happens in our lives over and over. Sometimes we're the older brother -- sometimes the prodigal. We might stay away from God far too long, thinking there's no way HE'd ever take us back -- We let our spirits become dry by the spaces we put in our together times with HIM. Or maybe we have a case of "what about me?" when it seems like God's blessings and favor have all but dried up.
Either way . . . . HE's waiting