In this parable, (Luke 15: 11-32) the younger son asked for his share of the estate. He took his share, left, and squandered all he had received; ultimately he found himself starving in a foreign land during a severe famine. In his desperation he decided to return to his father’s house, asking for nothing, but to be only a servant in the household. Upon his return he was welcomed by his father as a fully accepted son, given the best robe for clothing, a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. The father celebrated and gave him all fullness as his recovered son. Now that the younger son had received the father’s grace and restoration, I believe, he understood the true worth…of sonship, over and above riches, beyond material goods. He had nothing, but also all the fullness of real value.
Jesus taught his followers to seek real riches of eternal value. “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” (Luke 9: 23-24). This is the essence of the Christian way of life; not denial and loss as a means of pious self-flagellation, but for the sake of Yeshua Messiah; surrendering what I possess (a temporal material life) to gain what I could never possess, (a life abundant and eternal). The Prodigal son initially took “his share”, then he had nothing, not even food to eat, lastly he had the fullness of being a son in his father’s house and that is worth everything. In this parable Providence was at work to bring about a change in values and the Sovereign Almighty God is able and working in hearts and lives still.