The Christian Gospel is set down in the parable (an illustrative story) of the Lord Jesus Christ known as The Parable of the Prodigal Son. This can be found in the Bible in Luke chapter 15, verses 11 to 32. ‘Prodigal’ means extravagant, reckless, wasteful. The prodigal son took his inheritance money, even before his father had died, and left home, going abroad in search of the so called good life.

He foolishly used up all his money seeking after pleasure and ‘self-fulfilment’ (“he wasted his substance with riotous living” – Luke 15:13). Then what he least expected happened – there was a famine in the land, and he became destitute. (Non-believers often forget how quickly the earthly comforts on which they rely could be taken away from them).

The wayward son could find no one to help him, and had no choice but to become the slave of a pig farmer. His task was to give scraps of barely edible rough food to the farmer’s livestock. In hunger he longed to eat the scraps himself. He came to realise his utter foolishness in having left his family home, where he would have been happy, secure and lacking nothing. At his wits’ end, he decided to travel back to his own land and to return to his father.

Upon reaching the family home, he said to his father, “I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son” (Luke 15:21). The father’s response to this acknowledgement of his sinful and reckless behaviour was to joyfully welcome his son with open arms.

This parable illustrates that:

All without Christ are dying of spiritual hunger.

All without Christ, as they reject God and His commandments and put their hopes in this world, will one day discover their terrible mistake.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, will freely forgive all who repent of sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ died on the Cross bearing the penalty for the sins of the world, opening up the way for the non-believer to return to God the Father.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

“This is a faithful saying … Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15).

“Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger” (John 6:35).