Jesus told the parable of the prodigal son to his disciples. He
said, a man had two sons. The younger of the two sons asked his father to give
him his share of the property. The father consented to his request and divided
his property into two and gave the boy his own share. The younger brother took
what was given to him and went to a far country where he squandered his
belongings.
There after famine broke out in that city and the boy became
wanting. He hired himself out to a land owner to look after his swines. He
found it even difficult to eat, so he sought to eat out of the food given to
the pigs but to no avail. He thought of his plight and wondered how many of his
father’s servants had enough bread to eat, while he was there perishing with
hunger.
At this point, he decided to go back to his father and beg him to
take him as one of his labourers and not as a son. He finally left for home. As
he was approaching home, his father saw him far off. He had mercy on him,
embraced him and kissed him. He commanded his servants to bath him , give him
the best cloth and put a ring on his hand. He also directed that a fattened calf
be killed to celebrate, for this son was dead and is alive again, he was lost
and is found.
His elder brother who was not at home when this took place came in
later. He heard what was going on and enquired from one of the servants what
was happening. He was told that his younger brother had come back and their Father had killed a fatted calf for merry-making. For this reason, he was angry
and he refused to go in. But when his father saw him, he begged him not to
mind. The son said for many years he had served his father, he had never disobeyed his command; still his father had never given him a kid that he might
make merry with his friends, “but this son of yours, who had squandered
your property you had killed the most fattend calf for him”. His father
replied him that he had always been with him and all he had was his.
The action of the father
illustrates the nature of God in the following ways: 

  • God is always ready to
    forgive any sinner that repents of his sin, just like the father forgave his
    younger son. 
  • Self- righteousness does not justify condemnation of sinners.
  • God’s saving love is expended for both the sinners and the
    self-righteous.