There was a man who had two sons. In the Jewish culture, the first born son was entitled to special honor and attention. One day, the younger son mustered up some courage, and said to his father, “Father, give me my share of the estate.” Now that was no small request. No one ever asked for his inheritance before his father died. There’s no law or custom among the Jews which entitles a son to a share of the father’s wealth while the father is still alive. This request was as good as saying to his father, “I wish you were dead.” Most fathers would have beaten a son who made such a request. But, this father surprisingly, granted the request and divided his property between the two sons.
“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living” (Luke 15:13). He lost everything. Most likely, the property and animals that he had inherited were sold off quickly as the buyers bargained down the prices. The son was probably indifferent to the family, and accepted whatever price he was offered. On the other hand, it was staggering loss to the family when suddenly one third of their accumulated wealth was gone. Did the son choose to deliberately wound his father’s heart?
Perhaps you know someone who is ungrateful and feels no responsibility towards their family. . . someone who has broken all ties, cut off all their roots with their family altogether. Have you had someone close to you deliberately choose to wound your heart? a son or daughter who has left home? a spouse who has hurt you deeply? a parent who never extends any love to you? or a close friend that you never expected to treat you the way that he or she did? Chances are that each one of us knows the hurt that this father was feeling. But, know for sure that there is a love that never disappoints, never ceases, and is always enough. . . and that love comes from your Heavenly Father.