Few days ago a article/story was sent out "Did Someone Need a Blessing?", inviting those who read this to comment and reveal the symbolism and the message that it contained. Its delighting to receive a number of responses to this challenge.
I would like to preface those comments received by saying that most of those who participated in this exercise expressed much humility. It is obvious today that there are many wrong interpretations of God’s word that come forth. Many errors arise as sincere people seek to comprehend those things they are reading. It is a growth process to be able to discern between the thoughts that arise from within the soul and those which we receive from the Spirit of God. We must always be learning the discipline of making such a division and manifesting restraint.
It is encouraged to think it over, however, as you read the comments that were made, some were of gracious in appraisal of these things. So lets be practical and see what's so interesting in those comments, specially the comment made by our Protestant Brother Mr. Sebastian D'Souza - who feels that the person (influential person) who refused to give back the money, is in the hands of Devil and he further says that he (influential person) should return every pie.
I sat down to work it out and was able to find this parable "The prodigal son". What can we learn from the parable of the prodigal son?
When the son went back to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
Did the father say to his son " Welcome back, But bring all the money you have taken from me and wasted"?
And the father said to his servants, "Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." So they began to celebrate.
The parable of the prodigal son indicates, however, that we do have the opportunity to make a change; we do not have to stay in our hopeless state; We can come back, without giving anything in return.
God's Mercy and Love !
We have to only make-up our mind, humble ourselves and go back to Him (No matter what our sins are) the rest follow-up will be done by God. Infact, This turning-point in our lives is the first indication of God’s love for us. Even recognising our sinful, hopeless state is initiated in us by God, Himself. “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realising that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?” (Romans 2:4)
The parable of the prodigal son makes it obvious that God was at work. That he (sons father) was able to see the younger son when he was still a long way off means that the father was watching for his son, waiting for him, longing for him. The father runs to him, embraces him, loves him and gives him gifts; he seems totally oblivious to the fact that his son has disrespected him, acted outrageously, and lost everything. The father lavishes upon him, celebrates over him.
This is a wonderful picture of the great love of God towards us. He seeks after us, reaches out to us. When we come to Him, He washes away all our evil deeds of the past, not holding them against us. “You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19)
The parable of the prodigal son also shows the attitude of the self-righteous sinner, pictured by the older son. He quarreled with his father that the younger son had messed up and yet the father had prepared for him the “fatted calf.” Because he considered himself better than the younger son, he could not share in the father’s joy. “My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” The older son’s hardness of heart made him unaware of the riches available to him in his father’s house. This son complained that he had “slaved all these years.” He had no more love for the father than the younger son; nor did he avail himself of all the good things the father freely provided for him at all times.
Both sin and self-righteousness separate us from God. We all require God’s grace, His unearned, unmerited love for us. The father went out to the disgruntled older son. God is He who always continues to seek after us, regardless of the state we are in. " In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:8-10).
When we are lost sinners, we are not just “out there” somewhere away from God. But God longs for us so much that He take the ultimate action; He would go through any means, any expense to bring them to Himself.
Further the comments of our protestant brother is that, God will not forgive the influential person even if he asks for forgiveness ... And that God will take account from him pie by pie, and that this gentleman will not be saved unless he pays that money back.
In other words God punishes or rewards as per the deed? (according to Mr.Sebastian D'Souza)
If that is so, why were the wages paid in the parable of the workers in the vineyard were same for all, i.e. who worked for full day and who worked only for few hours.
In the parable, however, the amount of payment given is not determined by the level of labor. The parable of the workers in the vineyard is best understood when one sees many generous blessings of the kingdom in this life even when we do not deserve.
Each sinner is special to God; there is rejoicing in heaven over “each one” that repents. We are all individuals of great importance to the Father. When a sinner is restored to fellowship with God, it is a cause for rejoicing. This is the whole plan of salvation; this is why Christ came. This is the splendid, marvelous, most glorious act in the history of the universe. God seeks sinners and rejoices when they are found. He is not content for any sinner to be away from Him: “. . .He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).