The story of the prodigal Father

The story of the prodigal Father

“A good father is one of the most unsung, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.”
– Billy Graham


Father’s day joke: A little boy was asked to define father’s day, he said “It’s just like mother’s day, only you don’t spend as much on the present!”

So tonight I would like to share with you from God’s Word about a prodigal father.

Meaning: Prodigal: extravagant, lavish, unrestrained, generous, even to a point of being wasteful & reckless.


Read Luke 15:11 (Amp)

11 And He said, There was a certain man who had two sons; … So the story is really about the father…..


The key figure in the parable (Luke 15:11-32) is not so much the son, but the father. The father outdone the son in being prodigal. Discuss that later in our sermon.

While the father does not live a wasteful life, he does offer a lavish, extravagant love to both his sons. Amen!

You see church, the original meaning of the word prodigal is:

To spend money or resources freely, recklessly wastefully (a lifestyle characterized by wasteful expenditure).
To give on a lavish scale (unrestrained).
To spend or give without counting the cost!


Whenever we hear the word “prodigal” we associate the word with the son! The rebel, nomad, drifter, wanderer etc.

For he was the one who disrespected his father and asked for his inheritance, (regarding his father as dead) for you can only claim your inheritance after your father/mom’s death.


Luke 15:12 (Amp)

12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the part of the property that falls [to me]. And he divided the estate between them.


And what does the father do? He divides his property between his sons, giving them their inheritance, almost wasteful and lavishly gives them their equal shares.

So, the father was the first to be prodigal.

So today I would like us to consider and concentrate on the actions and the reaction of the father in the parable, and how this illustration can be compared to our Heavenly Father, and how our “prodigal” Father did not even spare His own son, but gave him as a ransom, so that we should not perish, but have eternal life! As we read in:

John 3:16 (Amp)

16 For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

So, the 1st character trait of the father in Luke 15 was that he was approachable.

You see, if the father wasn’t approachable, the son would never have asked such an outrageous request, amen? But as I read the story, I realized that the father must have been a loving, caring and good father! Even when he was confronted by his disrespectful son. He didn’t argue with his son, or try to stop him, or smack him. But allowed his son to make his own decision. The decision to have his inheritance and leave, he allowed this rebellious son to have it his own way!!

“The choice is yours, son.”

And many times God, the loving caring Father, will allow us to do the same! We have the ability to choose to take what God has given us, and waste it all on living a selfish, self-centred, wasteful life!

Without consideration of the subsequent consequences, we head along into a life of wasting; wasting our time, our money and energy on “things” that we hope will make us happy and content, yet it has the complete opposite result!


Short testimony

We all know the rest of the story… the son went from the one wild rally to the next, spending and wasting his money on fast bikes and even faster chicks, until it was all gone, and when days are dark, friends are few.

This son ended up with pigs, eating gherkins & cucumbers with them, which was an insult to any Jew! Yet he had no other choice… until he realised and remembered! He came to his senses. Amen!

I have a father, a loving caring dad; I will go back to him and tell him how sorry I am (confessing my iniquities & sin to him).

The Bible said that: When his father saw him, he was filled with compassion, he embraced his son, kissed him to welcome him, forgiving him lavishly, extravagantly

Ordering the fattened calf to be slaughtered, for a robe to be put onto his son, a ring on his finger and sandals for his feet.

Then the father announced: “Let us celebrate with a feast (not a bring & braai) extravagantly, lavishly for my son was dead, and is now alive again, He was lost, but now is found, let the celebrations begin.”

Do you now realise church, that the father was the prodigal one? He gave generously, lavishly, unsparing and open-handedly, almost to the point of being wasteful.

In this parable or portion of scripture, Jesus shows us our Heavenly Father’s relentless love for His children, for you and I!

When we reflect on how the father in the story displayed his unconditional love for his son, the father becomes the “prodigal” one!


The father is extravagant in the way that he welcomes his son back… (He ran to him).
The father is lavish when he ordered a robe, a ring and sandals for his lost son…
And the father’s decision to call for a feast, borders on wasteful expenditure.
The father spared no expense with his bountiful display of mercy and grace;


Just as our Father God is, His love knows no limit; His forgiveness no boundaries; and his joy no restraint!

The good news today, as we celebrate and honour our fathers, let us become so aware that there is a heavenly Father, waiting with open arms, to welcome you home, to forgive you of all you’ve ever done and willing to accept you, just as you are!

Maybe you’ve never had a father figure in your life… or you don’t have a relationship with your dad, or maybe you never even met your father or you have bad memories of your father.

Today God, our Abba Father, has created an opportunity for us all, to commit our lives to Him afresh, anew, and to start

a new fresh relationship with our prodigal father.

Today is the day to “come to your senses” and accept the love, mercy, forgiveness and grace of the “prodigal father”.