In Luke 15, Jesus depicts God’s compassion for the lost by telling one long story with three chapters. The last of these is popularly called “The Parable of the Prodigal Son.”
We all know the story of a young son who dishonors his family by claiming his inheritance while his father was alive and then squandering it. He returns home to the open arms of his loving father. Many use the story as a warning about the pain of rebellion and the forgiveness of God. These are fine points, and even true. However, this reading misses a key point – in fact, it misses what I think is the main point of Jesus teaching.
Take a few minutes and read the story in Luke 15: 11-31.
Did you notice how abruptly the story ends? One son is at home and another in the field. Despite the joyful return, one son remains lost. You see, the prodigal is not the son we usually label, the one who came back home. The prodigal son stubbornly remains in the field — he is the older son who refuses to celebrate with the father.
Read the entire post at the CGCS.