The prodigal returns
His eyes were fixated on the pods the pigs were feasting upon. Drool formed across his lips as he fantasized about the pods bursting with flavor within his mouth. Had his life really come to this point? Not long ago he had popularity and wealth. Life was good, but then the bottom fell out. He was now famished, dirty, and envious of a pig’s lunch. He thought back and remembered all the delightful delicacies that were spread across his father’s table. Now that was a feast; a feast he had too often taken for granted.
When he had finally come to himself, he decided to return home and beg just to be a servant in his father’s house. That would be far greater than his current predicament. When he finally arrived home, he could see his father running to meet him. Now it was time for the speech he had been practicing all the way home. He told his father, “I have sinned against heaven and in your sight and am no longer worthy to be called your son,” (Luke 15:21). His father would hear nothing further. He was his son and he was home! He was lost and now was found! It was time for a celebration. This celebration would involve fresh clothes, music, true friends, and an abundance of food.
Perhaps we have encountered individuals who have strayed away from the kingdom of our Lord. They too departed for new horizons of pleasure and self-satisfaction. All feels good for a season, but it isn’t long before the rug is pulled out from beneath them and the sting of sin sets in. The parable of the Prodigal Son teaches us a powerful lesson on the three-fold deception of sin.
Sin is Deceptive in Duration
This is the quality of sin the devil himself wishes man would overlook. He wants man to lust for the distant city, thinking only of its potential for joy and gratification. If he can keep man focused on these things, then man will be side swiped by the pig farm that awaits him.
What about us? What do we see when we are faced with temptation? Do we only see the pleasure of the moment, or do we see beyond the devil’s smokescreen? The parable of the Prodigal Son reminds us what the devil wishes for us to forget. That is that sin always comes with a price. Paul wrote, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Sin is Deceptive in Value
Consider this, if you had a brand-new Cadillac Escalade valued around $83,000 and someone were to offer you $500 for it; would you take the deal? Of course not! Yet, each of us have something far greater in value than a Cadillac Escalade ever could be, our very soul.
The devil comes along trying to offer us something far less in value in exchange for our very souls. Why would we ever take that deal? When we are faced with temptation, we should see it for what it truly is, an insult! Nothing the devil has to offer is worthy to be compared to eternal life that we have gained through Jesus. We do well to remember the words of Jesus who asked, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36, 37)
Sin is Deceptive in Destiny
Nothing is worse than hitting rock bottom in life and thinking one is stuck there. The devil wants man to think there is no way out of the pig pen. He wants man to believe there is no way to ever be cleansed of the mud that saturates the flesh and tarnishes the soul. He wants man to believe that there will never be anything else to fill the empty void in our lives other than a meal fit for a pig.
Fortunately, there is a way out. Even when one has fallen for the vain promises of the world and has sunk into the deep pit of despair, there is still hope. Hope that can be seen when one is willing to lift his eyes and peer through the devil’s deceitful fog. Hope that can be obtained when one remembers the joy he once knew when in service to the Lord. Hope that can be won, when he dies to himself and the shackles of sin fall helplessly to the ground. Then the journey home begins.
When upon that journey home, one must never fear rejection from the Father. He awaits at the gate, longing for the return of His children. His deepest desire is to grant forgiveness and restoration for those that have returned to Him. Remember the words of Peter, “The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
As long as there is the breath of life within the lungs and a beating heart in the chest, the prodigal can always return home.