The Parable of the Prodigal Son tells the story of a son who returns to his father in shame after years of reckless living, only to be greeted with great celebration. Its moral is that God is patient and merciful, joyfully welcoming and forgiving even those who turn from Him when they become truly repentant.
"Prodigal" is an adjective referring to someone who squanders resources, spending unwisely, recklessly, or extravagantly.
In Luke 15: 11-32, Jesus relates a parable of a man and his two sons. The younger son takes his share of his father's estate and leaves, while the elder son remains obediently at home. The younger son returns years later, having squandered his inheritance and begs for mercy; the father is overjoyed at his return and orders a great feast.
Meaning of Parable
In the parable of the prodigal son, the father represents God, and the younger son represents sinners who repent. The parable teaches that, no matter how far sinners may fall, God is patient and rejoices whenever sinners see the error of their ways and return to Him.
The Elder Son
The parable also teaches of the error of self-righteousness. The elder son is angry when he hears of the feast that his father plans for his younger brother because his father seems to be overlooking his own obedience and rewarding his brother's misconduct. The father explains that he celebrates simply because the younger son has returned and repented: "He was lost and is found." The parable cautions against those who are so blinded by their own perceived merit that they do not rejoice when sinners return to God.
In 1662, the Dutch painter Rembrandt depicted the parable in one of his most popular works, "Return of the Prodigal Son." More recently several popular artists have recorded songs based on the parable, including the Rolling Stones in 1968, Iron Maiden in 1981 and Kid Rock in 1993.
Bible Gateway: Luke 15: 11-32
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: New American Bible, Luke 15
All About God: Prodigal Son
"Dives in misericordia"; Pope John Paul II; 1980
"Parables of Jesus"; James Montgomery Boyce; 1983
"The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming"; Henri Nouwen; 1992
"Prodigality, Liberality and Meanness: The Prodigal Son in Greco-Roman Perspective"; David A. Holgate; 1999
Comparative Religion: The Parable of the Prodigal Son in Christianity and Buddhism
Read more: What does prodigal son mean? | Answerbag http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/1959680#...