Parable of two sons

Luke 15:17-20
17     And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18     I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19     And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20     And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

The parable of two sons begins with an incident that was quite legal. The second son among the two sons of a rich man demanded his share. There is nothing wrong in asking for his share by an adult. In the old testament too we see Achsah asking for a more opulent share from her father.
Joshua 15:18, 19
 18    And it came to pass, as she came unto him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou?
 19    Who answered, Give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs.

So the father gave his share gladly. There is no sign of hesitation from the father in the parable. But the young man had an evil intention. He sold out all his properties and left his father’s house. He went away to a distant land of evil countrymen. There he gathered many evil friends and wasted away all his wealth.

The problem with is not that he asked for his legitimate share, but that e left his father’s house. The father has no dislike to his children asking or enjoying their legitimate share of wealth. He expresses his pleasure in his children enjoying their wealth in his talk with the elder son at a later time.
Luke 15 : 31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. (KJV)

So his mistake is that he left his father’s presence and wasted his inheritance with strange evil people. The father is not responsible for it. He had the absolute freedom of choice to choose to live with his father or leave him. He selected the later. Hence he had to bear the fruit of it. He lost everything, suffered poverty and humiliation.

Poverty, frustration and humiliation made him turn aside. The parable’s brilliant part is this incident of turning away from sins and its consequences. Bible records that he came to himself. He turned to himself. He had certain realizations.

1.    He realized his present condition.

Ignorance is hindrance to deliverance. Ignorance of one’s present situation is the greatest hindrance to deliverance. But this young man turned to himself and realized his present condition.
He was theologizing over his condition. He did not try to find a theological explanation to justify his suffering. He could argue his lineage to a rich man. He could boast of his family traditions, his membership in a church, his past spiritual experiences etc. But that would not lead him to any deliverance. He understood that he is in deep bondage.

Ignorance of one’s present condition is not a blessing, but a reason for being in the bondage.

Jesus, as he approached Jerusalem on the back of an ass as the declaring himself as the King of the Jews, looked at the city and cried. He knew what waits for him and the city. So He wept for the city. Here are his words:

Luke 19: 41-44
41     And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,
42     Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.
43     For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,
44     And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

Jesus is using an image from the Old Testament period. It is process of siege of a town or country by the enemies.

The siege is done through 5 steps.

i.                     Enemies shall cast a trench about
ii.                   Compass thee round
iii.                  Keep thee in on every side
iv.                 Lay thee and your children with the ground
v.                   Shall not leave one stone upon another.

This is the process.
The word trench now means commonly a pit or ditch. When the Bible was translated, it meant also earth thrown up to defend a camp (Johnson's Dictionary). This is the meaning of the original here. It is not a pit or large ditch, but a pile of earth, stones, or wood thrown up to guard a camp, and to defend it from the approach of an enemy. This was done at the siege of Jerusalem. Josephus informs us that Titus, in order that he might compel the city to surrender by famine, built a wall around the whole circumference of the city. This wall was nearly 5 miles in length, and was furnished with thirteen castles or towers. This work was completed with incredible labour in ten days. The professed design of this wall was to keep the city in on every side. Never was a prophecy more strikingly accomplished.

The enemies shall dig deep trench about the town so that none goes out and none comes in. No food, no medicine, no help shall come to you. No spiritual and physical blessings shall come to you. You are totally isolated.

They compass you round. Enemies on the left, enemies on the right. Enemies everywhere. Enemies in the neighborhood. Enemies in the working place. Enemies in the business field. Enemies, enemies and enemies …

They will keep themselves there. They will not leave you alone. They will exercise such pressure on you. You are pushed to this side and that. You are pulled to here and that. Torture, humiliation, betrayal and many more painful experiences.

Shall lay thee and your children even with the ground. This was literally done. Titus caused a plough to pass over the place where the temple stood.
All prosperity of your home is lost. Your children remain jobless. Divorce and break up of family relationship occur. Your income and health is lost. Diseases increase in number.

The last stage. Your town is totally destroyed and even every brick is uprooted. You house is pulled down. The enemy shall leave no sign behind that you ever lived here.

Jesus was prophesying about the future of Jerusalem. His prophecy came true by AD 70 when Jerusalem was attacked by the Roman General Titus. We are not discussing the fulfillment of the prophecy. We are deducing the methods of an enemy in attacking God’s children.

Are you at any one of the above described stages of siege? If yes, it is time to turn around to your father’s house.

2.       He realized that he cannot save himself from this bondage.

The young man tried to save himself by accepting a job with a rich man of the town. He tried to quench his hunger by eating the husks that the swine did eat. But he could not get even that. Then he remembered the fact that “in his father’s house there is plenty”.

3.       He realized that only his father can save him from this deplorable condition. Only Jesus can save us from the bondages of Satan.

4.       He decided to go back to his father’s house.

5.       He acted upon his decision. He stood up and walked back to his father’s house.

In our father’s house, there is plenty. Even the hirelings in the house eat and spare. There is abundance in our father’s house.
There is healing, prosperity and more in our father’s house.

There is another significant thing that he mentions.
He is talking about the hirelings in the father’s house. Hirelings are the lowest category of servants. They are below the slaves of the master. They are daily workers hired in the morning. The master has no responsibility towards except to give their wages in the evening. The young man remembers that even those hirelings have plenty in his father’s house.

Spiritually, all those who call upon the Lord are delivered in the last days. 
Joel 2:32    And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.  (KJV)

All spiritual hirelings calling on the Lord are delivered in the last days. They are receiving healing and prosperity.
If the hirelings are being saved, how much more shall those who are saved by the blood of Christ?
If we are not delivered, we are worse than the hirelings.

How come the hirelings are delivered? Because they are in the Father’s House. Deliverance is there in the Father’s House. Being in the Father’s House is the only way to be delivered.

On the Cross of the Calvary where Christ triumphed over sickness, curse, poverty and sin, there is total deliverance available to all who rely on it by faith. None else is available deliverance from sin, sickness and poverty. On the Cross there is abundance.

Let us turn back to the Father’s House.
Let us remain fast in the Father’s House.

Professor Jacob Abraham