Jesus used the parables in his preaching. Parables are the earthly stories which have divine meaning. Using the parable, God is able to make the spiritual sense easier even for the most illiterate people, besides parables are full of symbols. The parable of the Prodigal Son is the earthly story about how gracious God can be when the sinner repents and comes back to Him.
What the parable of the Prodigal Son tells us? The younger son did not want to engage in heavy work with his father and older brother. He decided to go wandering and asked his father to give him his part of the inheritance. For a short time, he dilapidated father’s money and experienced a lot of need and sorrow. At first glance, the younger son neglected his duties, preferred his native home to numerous pleasures. The father had the right to banish the prodigal son from his eyes. But he did not do it. The father forgave his son, took him into the house and in his joy wanted to roast his better calf. The returning of the Prodigal Son was a prominent event for his father, because his son had the courage to come back, sincerely repenting of his deed. The prodigal Son realized his hasty behavior, and realized that he was deeply mistaken.
This parable teaches us that any actions are sure to receive a reward. For good and right actions people are rewarded, and for bad and thoughtless deeds the person will get a heavy punishment. Prodigal son didn’t think that fate would cost him so badly. He wanted an easy and fun life. While he had the money, he didn’t think about the correctness of their actions. He lived high, spending money very easy. And during this time, the prodigal son had never remembered his father, who hardly earned this money. He did not remember the elder brother, who worked with his father. He began to think about his family only when all of those who lived at his expense, turned away from him. Only then the prodigal son realized that nobody in the world needs him, except his relatives.
A father at the sight of his injury, suffered son did not even think about those mistakes, which he admitted. This parable does not say about this fact, but the father always remembered his son and always worried about his destiny. Therefore, his father was really happy when he understood that his son realized everything; understood and returned to native home forever.
The father asked the older son to go to the feast and to be happy for his younger brother, saying, “”¦we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”ť(Luke 15:32). The spiritual condition of the prodigal person or a sinner can be compared with death, when they don’t want to remember about God and His exhortation; but when they come to God then their spiritual condition, their souls become alive again. The idea of this parable is that the sinful life is unable to make the man happy, it leads only to destruction.
The father in this parable is the personification of God, the father of the humanity. This man takes care of his two sons, the younger son, the prodigal, was impatient towards father’s strictness, he wanted to get his part of inheritance and spend it as he wished, he wanted to independent of his father and his family. The Prodigal son personified the sinner, who goes on his way and doesn’t want to obey anybody, even God. The Parable of the Prodigal Son shows us that the sinner, who will come to God and repent, will be forgiven. The older brother symbolized the church, which is sure that all sinners are bad and unworthy of the God’s love. As the Prodigal son wanted to do only what he wanted and he failed miserably, so the sinful life provides only wrong way. God like a father from the parable is always waiting and ready to welcome any who wants to join His family.
The young man had discovered that our lives are like a train on a track. As long as the engineer obeys the laws of safety while operating the train, it will reach its destination safely. But the moment that engineer becomes careless, the train can easily be derailed and smashed to pieces before the engineer even realizes what’s going on. The same happens when we disregard the immutable moral laws that God set in motion when He created the universe. Broken laws ”” when they are God’s laws ”” carry their own automatic punishment. “The wages of sin is death”ť (Romans 6:23) But there’s a bright side to that picture, because the second half of that same verse reads, “BUT (and someone has called that the most beautiful “but”ť in the Bible) the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”ť( Dimopoulos, 2008)
The story about the ark of Noah is one of the most widely read story in the Bible, maybe because it represents the tragedy, but at the same time the salvation. Noah with his family and animals were saved, but other people with the rest of animals were killed by the flood. It is a story about the destruction on the mankind and regrowth.
The character of the God in the story of Noah differs from the God presented in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The notions about a man are also quite different, and very often they are even opposite. Â In the story of Noah from the very beginning God is represented to the reader as very emotional and regretful. To show his priority God shows regret for the men’s weakness, depravity, and coolness. We also can see God’s regret when He made his covenant with Noah that would not use flood to destroy the earth again. But sometimes God in the story of Noah is presented to us as an angry and even revengeful. He is very angry of the people’s conduct and decided to destroy almost everybody without even really thinking about it. For example when god tells Noah is this: “The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and be hold I will destroy them with the earth.”ť Â (Genesis 6-9). In such a manner God proved His case and justified His anger, which led Him to destroy the earth and the humanity. God was very impulsive and very critical in the story of Noah.
In these two stories God and the humanity are represented in a different way, besides they are very distinctively separated. God’s generosity was shown when He gave the younger son’s part of the inheritance, even if he didn’t have rights on it. This young man showed that the humanity is capable of the changes, modesty and repentance, and this feeling can be seen in one phrase of the prodigal son to his father: “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”ť.
In the story of Noah the impulsion and anger of God destroyed everything living in the world including people, animals and plants. The God’s compassion is shown towards the older brother when He said to him: “Son thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine”ť (Luke 15). In the parable of the Prodigal Son the humanity is capable of the changes, confession, and gentleness, only when the son had spent all his money on women and vine. The humanity in the parable of the Prodigal Son and in the story of Noah is very different. God’s memory was also challenged when god’s pact between Noah and every other living thing. We see the God’s compassion to the younger son when he came back home, the father ordered to his servants to clean his son up and make the make a feast, he forgave his son without any question, because God knows when the son will come and what he is going to say. “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations and Noah walked with God. God is patient because god knows the younger son is coming back sooner and ask for forgiveness”ť. (The Bible Study, 2006)
These are the lessons of the Bible”¦ Here everything is explained in simple examples. A man may commit many mistakes, but if he repents, God will forgive him, as his father forgave the Prodigal Son.