The Son Who Left and Returned Home

Jesus wanted people to understand that God wants people to turn back to him. So he told a story about a father and his two sons. Now this story is not just a story; it also has a meaning. The father in the story stands for God and the sons in the story stand for some of Gods people--- some who leave God for a life of sin and some who are jealous when others return. This is the story that Jesus told in Luke 15:11-32:

There was a man who had two sons. The younger son said to his father, "Father, give me now the part of your property that I will get when you die." So the father divided his possessions between his two sons. Soon after that the younger son gathered up all his things and left home to go to a country far away. There he lost all that he had in wasteful living. After he had spent everything, there was a bad famine in that country: the land became very dry, there was no rain, and there was not enough food to eat anywhere in that area. The son was hungry and didn't have any money. So he went and got a job with one of the people in that country. The man sent him into his fields to feed pigs. The son was so hungry that he wanted to eat the food that the pigs were eating. But no one gave him anything. The son realized that he had been foolish and said, "All my father's servants have plenty of food, but I am dying here with nothing to eat. I will get up and go to my father. Then I will say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against God and in your sight. I am no longer good enough to be called your son: make me like one of your servants." So the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. So the father ran to him and hugged him around the neck and kissed him. Then the son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against God and in your sight. I am no longer good enough to be called your son." But the father said to his servants, "Hurry! Bring out the best clothes to put on him. And put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. Bring the fat calf and kill it and let us eat it and have a party! For this son of mine was dead and is alive again! He was lost and has been found!" so they began to have a party.

Now the older son was in the field. And as he came home and got close to the house, he heard the sound of music and dancing. He called to one of the servant boys and asked what was happening. The servant said, "you brother has come back, and your father has killed the fat calf, because he has got him back safely." Then the older son was angry and would not go in. so his father went out and begged him to come in. But the son answered his father, "look, all these years I have served you like a slave! I have never disobeyed your command and yet you never gave me a young goat to have a party with my friends! But when this son of yours comes home, who has wasted all your possessions with prostitutes, you kill the fat calf for him." Then the father said to him, "My child you are always with me and all that I have is yours. But we must be happy and have a party, because this brother of yours was dead and is now alive. He was lost and has been found." In the same way God wants his people who have wandered away to come back to him. He also wants his other people to welcome them back home.

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