As I said in a previous post, parables usually have one central teaching. The key point of this story is not the sons but the father. The father represents God. The point is that God is anxious to forgive and restore.
God relates to us where we are. He responds to us as we are.
Some of us are like the younger son. We are prodigals. We are wasteful. We live for ourselves and turn our backs on God. What is often overlooked by people who focus on the younger son is that he was lost and would have stayed lost if he had not repented. Twice we see this expressed.
(Luke 15:24 KJV) For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.We see it again in verse 32. He was lost. He was dead. He was not just out of fellowship, he was on his way to hell and no amount of love from the father would restore him until he got on his feet and returned broken and repentant.
Some of us are like the older son. This is the one who is in fellowship but has lessons to learn. He is the one who is acknowledged as heir.
(Luke 15:31 KJV) And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.He was not lost. Yes, he did a lot of work. That is to his credit, not a reason to condemn him for not automatically forgiving his younger brother.
I would rather be the older son with lessons to learn than the younger risking hell.
Thankfully God deals with us where we are. He is patient. He is forgiving. He is holy.
May you meet Him from where you are and move constantly toward where He wants you to be.
homo unius libri