Forgiveness of God in the Parable of the Lost Son

Bible scripture is one of the most read texts in history, but does anybody really know what it is saying? Hundreds of versions and translations flood the market, and they all seem to be saying somethingjust a little different, These passages engender a multitude of different questions, none of which have a clear answeri A lack of clarity doesn’t discourage interpretations and opinions from being formed, including my own. Through deep analysis of The Parable of the Lost Son, I have determined that God is not as benevolent as he seems, there is a great beauty in forgiveness for all involved, and that there are never enough answers to the questions of life, When I first read The Parable ofthe Lost Son in “Luke 15”, I was struck by a strong sense of injustice I felt that the father was being unfair to the eldest son in the story.

That isn’t to say that it would be wrong for the father to welcome the son back into the home; perhaps employ him and support him until he was back on his feet.

But certainly not go out of his way to celebrate the return of the youngest son.

In my opinion, the eldest son, who should’ve been receiving all of the estate anyway, should not be punished through lack of recognition and now further depletion of his estate. Especially when he had been loyal to his father his entire life (Luke 1529) It requires little to connect this relationship between God and humanity.

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With that in mind, I was ready to say that God is in reality not a benevolent guider of life, but someone who has and acts on whims. After discussing the text in class, I was able to see its message from a different perspective. I saw how God could be endlessly forgiving and loving. However, I am inclined to disagree with this assessment, because there are other passages from this parable that support my former opinion. If God is the father of the story, then when the son leaves home and seeks his own path, he is leaving God. Clearly God did not take kindly to that as the youngest encountered famine as soon as his money had been squandered.

To me, God appears to be jealous and petty. He forces people to return to him, “coming to [their] senses” and coming home to the wealth of the father (Luke 1517), The passage specifically references the youngest coming to his senses, an implication that those who are making the Choice to leave God‘s company are not in their right mind-an implication that i am personally not too keen on. My opinion on God as the father from “Luke 15” now established, 1 still couldn‘t understand why he allowed the son to leave in the beginning, and why he forgave so readily This parable is also known as the “Prodigal Father”, insinuating that the father is actually more foolish and irresponsible than the youngest son The father allowed the son to leave his home with an undeserved piece of the estate, I realize there is merit to the case that perhaps the father wanted to allow the son to learn a valuable lesson about responsibility, hardship, or perhaps family values.

This is further supported by the father‘s willingness to accept him back into his graces. Before the son even has the chance to apologize the father forgives him unconditionally, overwhelmed by his excitement on the return of his son (Luke 15.20) However, I was impressed by the conceivable answer to the question this brings up. Why does the father celebrate the son’s return? The servants aren’t happy, and neither is the eldest son (Luke 15.27). Why go through all the trouble for something that isn‘t welcomed by the community? One of possible answers to these is that despite the community’s objections, it will actually benefit them in the end. The community is seeing that one of their own, who left and disrupted operations, was forgiven and welcomed home with open arms. The entire community is made better by the lapse of the son. They feel secure, and know that forgiveness is available to all those who seek it.

Throughout “Luke 15”, focus is primarily on the father and the youngest son, But even after evaluating the text I find myself more curious about the eldest son. First, did he do anything to try and convince the youngest son to stay at the beginning of the story, or to convince his father to not take some of his future wealth and give it to the youngest? I don’t think it’s fair that he was never celebrated for his loyalty, Even if we operate under the pretense that the father is God, why would God not reward his loyal followers rather than wait for them to stray before expressing an interest? Also, I wonder what the son chose to do The passage ends with the father’s explanation for the celebration given to the youngest, but doesn’t say what the eldest chooses to do Does he grow angry enough to leave his father’s estate or does he enter the party and recognize his brother‘s adversity? Does his anger at what he perceives to be the unfairness of God cause him to abandon his relationship with God altogether? it is important to know that these are just my interpretations. I came to these conclusions after reading, discussing, and logically dissecting.

The Parable of the Lost Son 1 have determined that God may be more human than we think, that forgiveness is important to everyone involved, and that the most imperative questions never have a discernable answer. I am not trying to say that God is “evil”, I am simply trying to commune that in my mind, he doesn’t appear as perfect and benevolent as people seem to think. Regardless of my beliefs, the real message is the necessity of analysis, With all of the different versions of the Bible it is up to the individual to create their own image of God, and decide what their relationship with him will be. The experience of life is different for everybody, and it is important that they live nobody else’s but their own.

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Forgiveness of God in the Parable of the Lost Son. (2022, Oct 25). Retrieved from

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