"For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to celebrate."
— Luke 15:24
The parable of the prodigal son includes two lost sons. The word “dead” means “separated.” When a person dies, their living spiritual part separates from their physical part. The younger son was alive and became “dead” when he emotionally and spiritually “separated” himself from his father even before he left home. Rather than enjoy a loving relationship with a father who obviously loved him deeply, all he wanted from his father was his inheritance and enough money to leave home, which he did. After squandering his riches and returning home to beg for a job as a servant, his father received him joyfully, reclaimed him as his son, and their relationship was made “alive again.” Everyone wanted to have a party to celebrate, but the older son became angry and refused to celebrate his younger brother’s return. His father went and pleaded with him, but he still refused to see his brother. While remaining at home, he became “dead,” emotionally and spiritually “separated,” from his father and his brother. Furthermore, he considered his relationship to his father as one of slavish servitude rather than that of a loving son who wanted to bless his father as part of his family. His father went out and pleaded with him, reminded him that all he had was his, and that he could have celebrated with his friends whenever he wanted. We do not know if the older son was ever made “alive again” and reunited with his father and brother. We can become separated from God, but by God’s grace, become “alive again” and be welcomed back by our Heavenly Father.
Parkhurst Jr. writes the International Bible Lesson Commentary at www.theiblc.com. Send email to email@example.com.