The Prodigal Son

You may think this post is about the son who took his father’s inheritance, left home, and squandered it on crazy living, before finally coming to his senses and returning home in repentance. After all, the title of “prodigal son” typically refers to this young man of Jesus’ parable. But I am not writing about that prodigal son. Rather, I am writing about a different prodigal Son, one who valued His father’s inheritance so much that he left home, squandered His own rights and glory on extravagant love and the pursuit of redemption, and finally returned home to His Father paving a way for all those who would follow in repentance.

Now how could Jesus actually be called prodigal? I certainly don’t think of Him in that light, typically. But the term actually means extravagant to the point of wasteful, lavish, without holding back. And Jesus was extravagant to the point of death, pouring out His lifeblood for the sake of the Father’s glory and our redemption. Jesus is lavish, offering not only redemption and an eternity in heaven, but everything we need for life and godliness in this world, including the Holy Spirit of promise. Jesus held nothing back. He emptied himself, relinquishing reputation, honor, and comfort. Truly, He is the quintessential Prodigal Son.

So often I think of Jesus sacrifice and I miss the lavish grace and love that are expressed in it? How is that possible? I guess because my human mind thinks of it as Jesus doing “just enough” to satisfy justice. Now on paper that sounds silly, but often in our Christian walk, we live as though we are attempting to “meet Jesus halfway.” He did what He could and now He expects us to live up to it. Furthermore, I find myself living this life, not expecting extravagance from Jesus, just the necessities. Just the bare minimum. “Help to to endure Lord, Jesus,” not necessarily thrive, is my prayer.

Last night three precious sister-friends surprised me at my door and whisked me away to a birthday dinner at a lovely east side restaurant in Milwaukee. The lavish meal, titillating conversation, decadent desserts and extravagant time offered in that evening, reminded me that Jesus doesn’t just provide what we need to survive. He goes far beyond that, giving us all that we need to thrive! These lovely woman were prodigal in their generosity, and that generosity spoke volumes to me of Jesus prodigal love and provision for us.


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