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Thread: The Parable of the Prodigal Son

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    The Parable of the Prodigal Son

    The Parable of the Prodigal Son

    Should it be the parable of the prodigal father?

    Did the son ever actually repent and show remorse for what he did? Or did he return only because he would be 'better off' than in his current predicament?

    TIA

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzub View Post
    The Parable of the Prodigal Son

    Should it be the parable of the prodigal father?

    Did the son ever actually repent and show remorse for what he did? Or did he return only because he would be 'better off' than in his current predicament?

    TIA
    Parables make only one point.
    Find God in the parable.
    The point is always from His point of view.

    So, the father is the Father.
    From the Father's point of view, he is happy when a sinner repents and comes to a relationship with Him.

    That is it. To think the Father prodigal so God should not give man free will, the older brother shows law keepers are losers ...blah...blah....blah... I could make a torrent of illegal side points to the parable.

    So I am afraid that what we are left with is exactly what most believe is the point behind the parable, which is that God loves sinners who repent and return to Him, and is never offended by their past.
    Stop the culling of Cape Town's baboons!

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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    Parables make only one point.
    Find God in the parable.
    The point is always from His point of view.

    So, the father is the Father.
    From the Father's point of view, he is happy when a sinner repents and comes to a relationship with Him.

    That is it. To think the Father prodigal so God should not give man free will, the older brother shows law keepers are losers ...blah...blah....blah... I could make a torrent of illegal side points to the parable.

    So I am afraid that what we are left with is exactly what most believe is the point behind the parable, which is that God loves sinners who repent and return to Him, and is never offended by their past.

    Thanks

    A couple of things.

    Why illegal side points?

    'repent and return'. I am thinking about those who hold that if one falls away then there is no possibility of returning.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzub View Post
    Thanks

    A couple of things.

    Why illegal side points?

    'repent and return'. I am thinking about those who hold that if one falls away then there is no possibility of returning.
    Surely this parable shows that if one falls away, and you want to come home, God will be waiting to throw you a party? Judas, Mr.666 and some others are toast.

    If I break my own 3 rules, and let my mind run wild, here is what else I could get from the parable...

    God is to blame for mankind going prodigal, because He enabled and allowed it when He knew it would end badly.

    The older son is the good one, and the Father treats Him unfairly by not throwing a party for the good, but the repenting evil people.

    The older son represents the OC and the younger represents the NC.

    We are saved by faith (prodigal) not by works (older brother).

    The law has been done away since the law keeper is left standing outside the house.

    If one can live it up and repent in time, you get the best of all worlds, and God is not even annoyed.

    One can sin and get away with it, just so long as there is deathbed repentance.

    The prodigal son may have repented, but he lost out on his inheritance and his reward. He will never more be able to inherit.

    We should not be prodigal and waste money.

    God does not judge fairly. He is arbitrary, favouring some.

    These are all "illegal" side points because a parable is constructed around there being only one point, and when we make more of it than this, we are misinterpreting the parable.

    For example, if we look from the older brother's eyes, we would be right in seeing God as being unfair and unjust. The older son might be inclined to have a fling of his own by the Father's non-judgmental reaction.

    If we look from the younger son's eyes, we might think that we can be prodigal again, since we got away with it the first time.

    I am just making stuff up to illustrate how the parable could be misinterpreted if there are no rules to interpreting parables.

    Not that I get to make up the rules Zzub
    Stop the culling of Cape Town's baboons!

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzub View Post
    The Parable of the Prodigal Son

    Should it be the parable of the prodigal father?

    Did the son ever actually repent and show remorse for what he did? Or did he return only because he would be 'better off' than in his current predicament?

    TIA
    It's important to remember that it is/was a parable, not reality. As such, every detail is not necessary. Whether the son was remorseful or not, is not the point. The lesson here is how the father and his other son reacted. The point Jesus was making is when someone turns their back on his father, God, and wants to return to Him, that is a sign of repentance and God welcomes him/her back with open arms, just as the father did his son. It's important to remember that the father could only love his son, he couldn't read his heart, like God can. The father's love was unreserved, he was overjoyed to have him return. God's love is similar. However, he can, and does, read what's in our hearts. So, no one can fake repentance and fool Him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcon View Post
    It's important to remember that it is/was a parable, not reality. As such, every detail is not necessary. Whether the son was remorseful or not, is not the point. The lesson here is how the father and his other son reacted. The point Jesus was making is when someone turns their back on his father, God, and wants to return to Him, that is a sign of repentance and God welcomes him/her back with open arms, just as the father did his son. It's important to remember that the father could only love his son, he couldn't read his heart, like God can. The father's love was unreserved, he was overjoyed to have him return. God's love is similar. However, he can, and does, read what's in our hearts. So, no one can fake repentance and fool Him.

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    There are no rules to interpreting parables. There is only the Bible and it's context. When we read the Bible and reason contextually on it, it's message can become clearer to us. Interpreting on a personal level is why there are so many different religions, all claiming to worship the same god, and at the same time, at odds with each other. Most of the Bible is symbolic, not literal. It requires study and reasoning to understand what is being said and why. It is not sufficient to go to church one day a week, expecting one person to explain in detail, the Bible's message, to the satisfaction of everyone present. We all learn at different speeds and levels. Jesus didn't simply speak, he taught people, helped them to understand, which is why he used parables and illustrations. He taught using ideas they could readily grasp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzub View Post
    The Parable of the Prodigal Son

    Should it be the parable of the prodigal father?

    Did the son ever actually repent and show remorse for what he did? Or did he return only because he would be 'better off' than in his current predicament?

    TIA
    like the rest of the scripture this parable is more about internal and external judgement being opposed to one another, the teacher being played by the Father who shows patience in allowing both external and internal judges/sons learn they need each other, a split conscience doesn't work as we see in this world run by these two fragmented perceptions about good and evil, both need each other working as one unit to overcome this worlds duality. Neither son grasps the correct view about their Fathers nature, 'in judgment' always being reconciliation in perfect love, any teacher who hasn't experienced both lessons being taught and reconciled the two is unbalanced theology where one favors one side over the other.
    Trying to awaken the divine principle in the belly of the fish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    Surely this parable shows that if one falls away, and you want to come home, God will be waiting to throw you a party? Judas, Mr.666 and some others are toast.

    If I break my own 3 rules, and let my mind run wild, here is what else I could get from the parable...

    God is to blame for mankind going prodigal, because He enabled and allowed it when He knew it would end badly.

    The older son is the good one, and the Father treats Him unfairly by not throwing a party for the good, but the repenting evil people.

    The older son represents the OC and the younger represents the NC.

    We are saved by faith (prodigal) not by works (older brother).

    The law has been done away since the law keeper is left standing outside the house.

    If one can live it up and repent in time, you get the best of all worlds, and God is not even annoyed.

    One can sin and get away with it, just so long as there is deathbed repentance.

    The prodigal son may have repented, but he lost out on his inheritance and his reward. He will never more be able to inherit.

    We should not be prodigal and waste money.

    God does not judge fairly. He is arbitrary, favouring some.

    These are all "illegal" side points because a parable is constructed around there being only one point, and when we make more of it than this, we are misinterpreting the parable.

    For example, if we look from the older brother's eyes, we would be right in seeing God as being unfair and unjust. The older son might be inclined to have a fling of his own by the Father's non-judgmental reaction.

    If we look from the younger son's eyes, we might think that we can be prodigal again, since we got away with it the first time.

    I am just making stuff up to illustrate how the parable could be misinterpreted if there are no rules to interpreting parables.

    Not that I get to make up the rules Zzub
    Just wanted to thank you for your honest and frank response. Lots to think about.

    Be blessed iouae

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    At Bible study last night we dealt with this parable. I have never really understood it and I stated that I saw no repentance from the son. The meeting went from agreement of what I said, to agreement that the father was the real story, and then frustratingly for me, that the son repented.

    My frustration being that we so often read into the Bible our western interpretation rather than read out what the Bible actually says.

    Having read the rest of this thread may I also thank every other responder.

    I sincerely appreciated what has been posted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzub View Post
    At Bible study last night we dealt with this parable. I have never really understood it and I stated that I saw no repentance from the son. The meeting went from agreement of what I said, to agreement that the father was the real story, and then frustratingly for me, that the son repented.

    My frustration being that we so often read into the Bible our western interpretation rather than read out what the Bible actually says.

    Having read the rest of this thread may I also thank every other responder.

    I sincerely appreciated what has been posted.
    Thank you for asking the question in the first place. It shows you have a willingness to learn and not necessarily accept the answer you've been given, especially when it doesn't make sense to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zzub View Post
    Just wanted to thank you for your honest and frank response. Lots to think about.

    Be blessed iouae
    Zzub - the question you asked has not been addressed, so I would like you and others to address it.

    You asked
    Did the son ever actually repent and show remorse for what he did? Or did he return only because he would be 'better off' than in his current predicament?
    My personal opinion is that there is no difference between the two.
    I would show no remorse for anything if there were no consequences to my actions.
    And we do most things, including worshipping God, because we expect to be better off.

    Is it wrong to want salvation for completely selfish reasons?
    Stop the culling of Cape Town's baboons!

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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    Zzub - the question you asked has not been addressed, so I would like you and others to address it.

    You asked

    My personal opinion is that there is no difference between the two.
    I would show no remorse for anything if there were no consequences to my actions.
    And we do most things, including worshipping God, because we expect to be better off.

    Is it wrong to want salvation for completely selfish reasons?
    Most people would show no remorse.

    Many worship God because mankind was created to do so.

    As for wanting salvation for selfish reasons; God can and does read hearts. Anyone who thinks they can put one over on Him, give it a shot, just remember, the time is short and you may not get another opportunity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcon View Post
    Most people would show no remorse.

    Many worship God because mankind was created to do so.

    As for wanting salvation for selfish reasons; God can and does read hearts. Anyone who thinks they can put one over on Him, give it a shot, just remember, the time is short and you may not get another opportunity.

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    As for answering the question; you must have missed it, so here it is again: It's important to remember that it is/was a parable, not reality. As such, every detail is not necessary. Whether the son was remorseful or not, is not the point. The lesson here is how the father and his other son reacted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcon View Post
    As for answering the question; you must have missed it, so here it is again: It's important to remember that it is/was a parable, not reality. As such, every detail is not necessary. Whether the son was remorseful or not, is not the point. The lesson here is how the father and his other son reacted.

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    I agree with you Dcon.

    But as a completely different subject, why not address the question Zzub asked?

    "Did the son ever actually repent and show remorse for what he did? Or did he return only because he would be 'better off' than in his current predicament?"

    It addresses the very common human emotion that we do not like seeing others blessed undeservedly.

    We don't give money to beggars because "they are just going to spend it on booze".

    But the older brother was also being blessed undeservedly by being with the father who was the source of his blessing.
    And the older brother was blessed every day with food and raiment and shelter, and, best of all, the father's presence. The older brother also looked forward to an undeserved inheritance much greater than that given to the younger brother.

    And the older brother could not see that living a wasted lifestyle of booze and women, is NOT fun.
    I hear hundreds of times on Judge Judy young folks saying "We were having a good time getting drunk". That is usually followed by some crime for which they are appearing on Judge Judy. Getting drunk and wasting money is not all the fun it is cracked out to be. But they say it as if it is a self evident fact, that getting drunk and having fun are synonymous.

    And here is the kicker. Every one of us takes it as perfectly normal and right when we are blessed undeservedly. We are born in the West, not some "$h1+-hole" continent, and we enjoy blessings that folks in Yemen or Somalia will never see, and we consider this RIGHT.
    Stop the culling of Cape Town's baboons!

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    Quote Originally Posted by iouae View Post
    I agree with you Dcon.

    But as a completely different subject, why not address the question Zzub asked?

    "Did the son ever actually repent and show remorse for what he did? Or did he return only because he would be 'better off' than in his current predicament?"

    It addresses the very common human emotion that we do not like seeing others blessed undeservedly.

    We don't give money to beggars because "they are just going to spend it on booze".

    But the older brother was also being blessed undeservedly by being with the father who was the source of his blessing.
    And the older brother was blessed every day with food and raiment and shelter, and, best of all, the father's presence. The older brother also looked forward to an undeserved inheritance much greater than that given to the younger brother.

    And the older brother could not see that living a wasted lifestyle of booze and women, is NOT fun.
    I hear hundreds of times on Judge Judy young folks saying "We were having a good time getting drunk". That is usually followed by some crime for which they are appearing on Judge Judy. Getting drunk and wasting money is not all the fun it is cracked out to be. But they say it as if it is a self evident fact, that getting drunk and having fun are synonymous.

    And here is the kicker. Every one of us takes it as perfectly normal and right when we are blessed undeservedly. We are born in the West, not some "$h1+-hole" continent, and we enjoy blessings that folks in Yemen or Somalia will never see, and we consider this RIGHT.
    I did answer the question by saying that the parable was simply an illustration, a way of telling a story with a moral. To take it any further would require speculation on our part and would be completely irrelevant. The simple fact is the Bible doesn't say anything more than the son's inheritance ran out, he returned home, his father was overjoyed and his brother thought he should have been treated better.
    Nothing to see here; move along.

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