The younger son in this parable told by Jesus in Luke 15 tells of a son who was keen leave home and do his own thing as young people tend to do with disastrous consequences. There is a cost to everything we do and this episode in the younger son’s life cost him his inheritance.
The father did not stop loving his son unconditionally though but is interesting to note that the kind of stuff that the younger son was doing would not have been allowed while he was living at home with his father.
After the younger son had spent all he had, he went to work for one of the citizens of that land and ended up working among the swine. Note that when you have no money, your options are reduced. As the saying goes, “Beggars can’t be choosy” and the son found this out. He became like the citizens of that land. In other words he became just like them. A person is the product of their peers and with whom they spend most of their time with.
He was jealous of the pigs because they were so well-fed and he was starving but no one gave him anything. Now that is interesting because he had lots of friends when he had lots of money but as soon as his money was gone, so was his friends. That tells us that false friends do no hang around when your money runs out.
Then the younger son came to his senses. He came to his right mind and thought “I will go back to my father and say to him, I have sinned against you and against God, please make me like one of your hired servants.”
One has to hit rock bottom before they realise that they need to make a change in their lives.So he set off for home. Some people want their parents to bail them out when their life is in a mess but still want to continue to live the way they have living. It reminds me of the cliche which says, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome is insanity.”
To change your behaviour and admit that you have made wrong choices in the past takes humility. Your past does not have to equal your future and the younger son in this parable was prepared to make a new start as one of his father’s hired servants. It does show that he had a servant mindset.
Each any everyone of us has a choice and no one else can make that for us but we must realise that along with choices there are consequences and the parable of the prodigal son tells us that the younger son made bad choices but and this is important, he owned up to them. The lesson here is that each of us must take responsibility for our actions in order to learn life’s lessons.