Telling a story has always been a popular teaching tool, especially in cultures where many of the citizens were uneducated. The Bible contains many parables which were used to illustrate the ideas to be taught. One such story, "The Parable of the Prodigal Son," depicts the relationship between God , His faithful followers, and those who have gone astray.
The prodigal son gathered all that his father had bestowed upon him and traveled to a far away land. Famine spread across the land and the son found himself in want. The son then traveled back to his father and asked only to be the lowest servant for he had sinned. The prodigal son can be compared to all people who have sinned. This story teaches the lesson that when God's followers have sinned, they should turn to the Lord, confess the committed sins, and ask for forgiveness.
The father was overjoyed by the prodigal son's return.
He did not take the son in as a servant, but celebrated as he hailed his son, killed the fattest calf, and was merry for his son was lost and found again. The father in this parable represents God. Just as the father accepted his son, God forgives His followers who have sinned and welcomes then with open arms. He too rejoices, for His followers were lost into temptation and found again.
The faithful son stayed by his father's side through the years and worked in the fields. The son became upset by the father's reaction to the prodigal son's return and did not understand why he himself had not received the same gifts. This son represents all that have remained faithful followers of God. This son can also be compared to a priest of the time who served God and never transgressed. The priests often belittled sinners and found it difficult to believe that God could forgive these people, just as the son felt toward his father.
This parable offers a way of teaching uneducated people a very important lesson. It takes a realistic situation and implements the idea that God will forgive His followers for the sins that they commit. "The Parable of the Prodigal Son" depicts the relationship between God, His faithful followers, and those who have gone astray.