“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

– Luke 15:21-24

Our God is one who searches after His people and loves them, and this is what Jesus is trying to explain to the Pharisees. No Pharisee had ever dreamed of a God like that. Jesus tells them the most dramatic of the parables, the story of the prodigal son. You may know the story, the son demands his inheritance early from his father, and his dad gives it to him. Then, he leaves and blows through all his cash on gambling, prostitutes, and drinking. 

Once he hits rock bottom, he realizes that he can go back and work for his dad as a hired hand. So he practices what he’s going to say on his way back home, but to his surprise, his father is overjoyed to see him. He immediately runs to his son, exclaiming, “My son has returned home!” And there is a party thrown in his honor. 

Friend,  Jesus is trying to make this point: The young man, when he’s home, is the son. He cannot be a servant and be in his father’s house. If he’s there, he has belonging, dignity, love, authority, and joy! It’s an amazing symbol. The Pharisees can’t imagine a God who would be this way towards those who have sinned. But Jesus is telling them that this is how God looks at sinners — with love. 


Thank you, God, that we belong to you. Thank you for calling us your children and for looking after us.


What does this parable mean to you?

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7 Responses

  1. Thank you for the Devotional.
    God bless you.

    Please pray for my health.

    Thank you.

  2. It means that God will welcome me back no matter what I’ve done as long as I believe in Him and seek his forgiveness of my sins. What a truly loving God and a forgiving God we have. I am so thankful for Him and that He sent his son to die on a cross for me.

  3. I like this story in the Bible the most. It always makes me think,maybe God does like me. Cause lots of times I think he hates me. But when I hear that story I think maybe he doesn’t.

  4. thank you for this about the prodigal son. I have a Son I have not seen in 5 years. Drugs and drinking and so many other issues . Please pray for him and me. His name is Thomas. thank you I also have a son who has leukemia ahe is getting a stem cell transplant April20 Hos name is Francis. Please pray for a successful transplant. thank you Catherine

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