Religion

The Prodigal Son Got Sick of Poverty

Written by Joe Dardano

The Prodigal Son story (Luke 15;11-32) is often taught and remembered for a variety of spiritual lessons such as obedience, forgiveness, unconditional love of the Father, jealousy of the older brother, etc… Virtually ignored is the Prodigal Son’s reason for returning to the Father. What motivated his return? Extreme poverty:  “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! (Luke 15:17) The Prodigal Son’s lifestyle was marked with dissipation: “he squandered his property in reckless living.” (Luke 15:13) The equation I want to illustrate is that a lifestyle built on pleasing the flesh equals squandering substance. A life built on self-discipline offers opportunity to live in abundance. Further proof of the spiritual law is given in the story of Jacob & Esau. Esau was a wild man and cunning hunter living to please the senses but Jacob more domesticated, a quiet man living in tents. Jacob stole Esau’s birthright and desired the leadership & responsibility that comes with wealth and status. Being the man who was driven to succeed, he fulfilled the prophecy that the elder (Esau) was to serve the younger (Genesis 25:22-23). Like the Parable of the Prodigal Son, we find that a life dedicated to the complete satisfaction of the flesh, a life lived on instinct alone will effectively eat away the economic gains.

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Joe Dardano

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