recover: to bring back from bondage; to set free from the snare of the devil; to recapture
When the younger son asked his father for the portion of goods, the father didn’t just share his estate with the one who asked, but he shared with the elder son as well (Luke 15:12). The difference between the two sons was one took his share and left while the other took his share and stayed.
The son didn’t have to work hard for it. He didn’t have to do anything to earn what was given to him. All he had to be was a son. Some say that the younger son didn’t plan for what he was asking for, but I disagree. He did make plans. He just failed to plan for what lied ahead. He didn’t know that a famine was coming. He planned to spend, but he didn’t plan to save.
Now he had to find a job. He had to work for what he wanted. When he lived with his father, his father freely gave to him. Now, no man would give to him (Luke 15:16). But what he didn’t learn at home, he learned while working in the fields. What he lost was preparing him for what he was about to gain.
I don’t know how long it was before he humbled himself, but one day he decided to return to what he left. He made a lot of mistakes and because of the things he had done, he no longer felt worthy to be called a son, but when he returned home, his father still called him son (vs 24). The father knew that his son didn’t fully understand his calling, but he kept calling him ‘son’ until he became what he called him. Yes, the son went into a far country (vs 13), but he wasn’t too far that the word of God or the word of prayer couldn’t reach him.
When the son returned home, the father didn’t give him a chance to speak. He immediately showed compassion, hugging and kissing him. Before the son admitted he sinned, the father had already forgiven him. Before he got home, the best robe, the ring and the shoes were already laid out for him. He was just waiting for his son to put it on.
Not once did the father ever mention his sins. Love doesn’t keep a record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). The reason why we knew what the son did was because his older brother mentioned it. He brought up his past. As soon as your son comes home, who devoured your living with harlots, you kill a fatted calf for him (vs 30).
The elder son was angry. Why would his father give something good to someone who did bad? The younger son wasted his father’s living. He didn’t deserve what the father was doing for him. He didn’t deserve forgiveness. He didn’t deserve another chance. He didn’t deserve a party.
I have served you for many years. I have never disobeyed you. I kept your commandment, but you never gave me a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends (vs 29). The elder son was very proud of himself for keeping the commandments, but he kept every commandment except for the most important one.
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, The Lord our God is one Lord. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these (Mark 12:29-31).
Before Jesus tells the parable of the lost son (or the prodigal son), He talks about recovering the lost sheep and the lost coin. Some of us have either been worrying or praying about possessions and money. God, give me this. God, give me that. God can recover those things you’ve lost, but He wants you to make yourself available to recover the souls that are lost. This is what is most important to God. He wants to use us to recapture those who were taken captive by the devil to do his will, but you can’t recover the lost if you don’t love the lost or have compassion for the lost.
We are the sons/daughters of God, but it is time to exchange the garments you wore in the far country for the garments that your Father has prepared for you. It is time for us to put on our best robe, ring and shoes and walk into what He has called us to be. The world is expecting and waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.
We’ve been praying so much about our problems that we have failed to see the problems of others. Someone has given up. Someone thinks that God has forgotten them. Someone thinks that God doesn’t love them. Someone needs to forgive themselves. Someone thinks that they have gone too far that it is almost impossible to return to God. I’m not saying that our requests aren’t important to God, but their souls are more important than the ‘things’ we have been asking God for.
God has placed in us what they need. They need the compassion of God. They need the love of God. They need the forgiveness of God. And YOU are the person that God wants to display Himself through.
They’ve already met the elder son.
Now it’s time for them to meet the Father (in us).