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Explaining the Prodigal Son to Christian Believers

Posted by Matt LaClear on February 12, 2023

Explaining the Prodigal Son to Christian Believers | Agape Woodwork

The Bible is filled with parables that teach and encourage our faith.

One such parable can be found in Luke 15:11-32, the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

In this parable, Jesus teaches his followers a powerful lesson about the fatherly love, mercy, and forgiveness God offers to those who have strayed from his path.

By understanding the context and message of this parable, Christian believers can gain further assurance in their eternal security.

the prodigal son returns

Luke 15:11-32 NASB

And He said, “A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.” ’ So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate. “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’ ”

The Parable of the Prodigal Son

This is a well-known parable told by Jesus himself in the New Testament. It tells the story of a father and two sons, one of whom leaves home to pursue his own life and takes his inheritance with him, only to find himself struggling and in need.

The father then welcomes him back home with open arms, demonstrating his immense love and forgiveness.

This parable highlights the eternal security that Christian believers can have in God's everlasting fatherly love.

Context of the Parable

The story takes place in ancient Israel and is a parable told to the people of Jesus's time by Jesus himself.

In the parable, a father has two sons - one of whom leaves home and squanders his inheritance on wild living.

When he returns home sweetened up, his loving father throws him a party and celebrates his return with great joy.

The older son, who had remained at home, was not pleased about this and did not celebrate the younger brother's return.

This parable teaches us about the love of God for those who have wandered away from Him, as well as how to walk in grace and forgiveness when it seems undeserved.

the father loves the prodigal son

How the Parable Points to Eternal Security for Christian Believers

The parable of the Prodigal Son is a universal story of grace and forgiveness that resonates with many Christian believers.

It has been used to teach a powerful lesson about God's great love, mercy, and commitment to extending second chances to His children.

As believers examine this parable, they can see how it points to eternal security – that no matter what a believer does or how far away from God they find themselves, God will never abandon them.

Hope in Restoration and Forgiveness

 The Prodigal Son shows us the incredible hope of restoration and forgiveness that can be found in Jesus Christ.

The Father in the parable runs out to greet his son, despite the son’s disobedience and wrongdoings.

This story serves as a reminder that no matter how far we turn away from our Heavenly Father, He will always offer grace and mercy and be ready to accept us whenever we return to Him.

Understanding the Father’s Love

The Father in the parable of the Prodigal Son demonstrated his immense love for both of his sons.

The Father welcomed him home when he returned and did not hold any grudges or bear any ill will. The Father was eager to restore the broken relationship and demonstrate His unconditional love.

This same love is extended to Christian believers today; regardless of mistakes made or wrongs done, God will always be ready to forgive and accept those who turn to Him in faith.

 The Prodigal Son in the Arms of His Father

The Son Never Lost His Sonship

The son of the parable was always the son of his father, even when he left home and squandered his inheritance.

His father never stopped loving him and always awaited his return with open arms.

When the son returned, the father welcomed him back with joy and did not chastise him for his actions.

This shows that God's love for believers is unending and unchanging, no matter how far away we stray from Him.

He will always forgive us and accept us back into His family as a part of His redemption plan for us.

The Older Son Never Lost His Inheritance

The older son always retained his inheritance.

Even when the younger son left and wasted his wealth, the older son kept possessing his part of the estate. He could remain in his father’s house, enjoying everything it had to offer, without ever fearing that he might lose it due to his brother’s actions.

This reminds Christian believers that their heavenly inheritance is secure, no matter how great the temptations of this world may be.

The Younger Son Never Regained His Inheritance

The younger son never regained his inheritance, despite not losing his sonship.

This shows us that those who don't follow the teachings of Christ may still be saved, but they will sacrifice some or all of their reward in Heaven due to hindering their process of holiness as led by the Holy Spirit.

 Return of the prodigal son


In conclusion, the Parable of the Prodigal Son teaches us that God is a loving Father who offers endless forgiveness, hope, and grace to those who turn their eyes back to Him.

The son never lost his sonship, and the prodigal’s older brother never lost his inheritance – they were both part of the family through it all.

Likewise, we are assured of our salvation in Christ so that even when we stray, we can always return home with open arms awaiting us.

In Summary

The Prodigal Son is a parable found in the Bible which teaches Christian believers about eternal security.

In the story, the protagonist is the younger son who leaves his father's house to pursue his desires.

Despite leaving, the father still loves him and welcomes him back. This parable highlights the Father's love, forgiveness, and hope for redemption regardless of mistakes.

It also reflects that neither the older son nor the younger son regained or lost their inheritance – instead, it showed the hope of restoration through the Father's love.

Ultimately, this parable speaks to the security of our relationship with God and how He provides us with eternal grace no matter what.

Final Thoughts on Eternal Security for Believers

As Believers, it is comforting to know that we are secure in our relationship with the Father through Jesus.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son illustrates this beautifully, showing us how God’s love never wavers, no matter how much we have sinned or strayed away from Him.

We can cling to His promise of restoration and forgiveness, knowing He still loves us and has promised never to leave us.

With this in mind, we can trust that our faith in Him will never be in vain.

Matt LaClear
Matt LaClear