In this parable the father represents our Lord God who is ever forgiving of our wrongdoings. He offers us mercy and allows us to repent so we may be able to receive His grace. The younger son has everything, and yet he chooses to live on his own. In the end when everything goes wrong and he has nowhere to go to and nothing to eat, he realizes his mistake. He lowers his pride and in words of a layman, he says, “Sorry.” On the other hand, the elder son obeys and works for his father. Seeing his younger brother come back and his father accepting him with open arms maddens him. How come his hard work has not proved to have any reward to bear fruit, and yet his younger brother who has not even bothered to work received such rewards?
Sometimes some of us do not understand how God works. He gives blessings to those who have gone and come back and nothing to those who stay by His side. But is it really nothing? No. We work in order to give back what He has given us, and He has given us so much, even His only begotten Son. In verse 31, the Father voiced out that everything He has is ours and He is glad that we are by Him. This is the reward, of being by His side and being saved from sin.
Not only does this story apply in the family, but also in relationships, friends or in a stressful work area. Which characters are we in the story? Do you see yourself as the younger son, or as the elder son? We may already have heard this story countless times, but there will always be a new way to look at it.