Luke 15:14-19, (Part two of four)
14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to[a] one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’
“The hearts of the sons of mankind are full of evil, and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives.”
Insanity is an irrational belief in something that isn’t true; it’s a severely disordered state of the mind, often sometimes even a form of psychosis. This is how the world operates. It’s part of a deep confusion that doesn’t accept the reality of God. It has taken up the darkness repeatedly, so it walks in darkness now, a chosen blindness that can’t see the realities of the gospel.
“In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.”
2 Corinthians 4:4
The youngest son demanded his share of the inheritance immediately. This was unheard of, one would never done this in biblical times–it was as if the father was already dead. The youngest son insisted on his share, without question. He wanted everything that was coming to him. The insanity of sin is that it causes darkness; it grows into madness.
However, the prodigal is never judged by the father.
One of more amazing facts is the son was never corrected for his irrational behavior. Perhaps the father knew what would happen to him, and rested in that understanding. The younger son would learn the hard way. The father understood, but being a father isn’t always easy.
The son spent it all, everything that had been given to him. There was nothing left. He was hungry–starving, but he didn’t have a penny to buy bread, in this passage we see that he took a job with the local pig-keeper–and a good Jewish boy would never have dreamed that this was his destiny.
Hunger had done its work.
If you’ve ever gone hungry for any length of time, you know what that means. The scripture tells us, “he came to his senses.” He suddenly realizes that even the father’s servants have more than he has. He choses to leave the pigs, and return home to his father.
“Father, I have sinned.” and with this truth he finally understands.
He realizes that his disobedience has led him into a big fat lie. He has betrayed his father, and we start to grip this thought, we immediately realize that every cent he had bought booze and whores. He has nothing–maybe less than nothing. And he’s starving and quite willing to eat the pig’s food.
All of this rolls over him, and he finally connects with reality.
The prodigal finally gets it. He must return to the father, even if he becomes a slave. (Even they if he finds food to eat.) He has less than nothing–the choice he makes is obvious. He’ll return, even if it means servitude to his father. At least, his hunger pains will not be an issue.
That’s the insanity of sin.
It develops and we see it in Jesus’ story. If we’re irrational, we’ve left behind the reasonable, and we’ve embraced lies. He does exist, or so we’ll try to convince ourselves. And yet we continue, over and over, to want the false, over the truth, and the question is why? Could it be, that sin has altered our thinking?
The son is no longer walking in deception–he finally gets it. He understands, to be the slave of his father is something that’s worth it all. To be rescued from the pigs is what he can only dream about.
He leaves the darkness and chooses to step into the light.