Prodigal Son, Part 3: Change of View

Once a starry eyed dreamer under the care of a loving father, the prodigal son in Luke 15:14-17 woke up in a pig pen surrounded by filthy snorting pigs. Jews weren't even supposed to touch pigs, much less care for, or eat them. He took this position out of desperation and, considering his station in life, was glad to get it.

He got used to the job, used to the filth, used to the smell, even used to the diet. Working in a pig sty became normal to a young man who had been born to be a prince. Shattered, tattered, and laden with guilt and shame, he acquiesced to his new reality and accepted his fate.

The pigs that surrounded him had no idea who he was or where he came from. They had no thought for their eventual fate, and no aspiration to succeed beyond getting more space, and more food, and gaining prominence among other pigs. Pigs are comfortable being filthy and wretched. By our higher nature, people are not.

The son awakened as from a bad dream and remembered where he came from. "My father treats his hirelings much better that this," he concluded. "I don't deserve to be reinstated as a son, having given up my inheritance. But maybe Father would take me in as an humble servant."

If you have fallen from grace and find yourself alienated from God and surrounded by sin, don't blame the sinners around you. They've gotten used to their estate. Your presence doesn't bother or scare them, as long as you try to fit in and get along. They don't know another life. And they don't care or appreciate that you do. Don't expect your fate to change until you wake up and realize who you are, where you came from, and who your Father is. Maybe it's time to come home, child.

Eric ScottComment