I have always understood this parable in the way it was presented to me. Now I see that there is another story, which, if not seen clearly, might be for granted, which I think, will lead to some loss. For my part, it held a whole new meaning. It struck close to my heart.
I had this defense mechanism of undoing. Undoing sins. Undoing faults. Undoing hurts. I think when I undo, everything is okay. I may not have erased the cause, but at least I covered it.
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus revealed to me that undoing is pointless. It says in Luke 15: 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. Here the son wanted to EARN his way back to his father, even if just as a servant. He wanted to WORK. That for me, was the undoing part. When I commit some sin, yes I repent. However at the back of my mind, I would like to do some good to cover my sin. I would like to WORK FOR FORGIVENESS, which is wrong! God freely forgives if we ask with a repentant heart; a heart that trusts in NO ONE ELSE BUT GOD to forgive Him of his sins; a heart that knows no amount of human effort, no amount of undoing, can ever wash him clean. The forgiveness of sins is not through our own; it is through Jesus and OUR FAITH IN HIM that we stand forgiven and righteous.
What did the father say? What proved me that undoing was futile?
v. 22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
v. 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
v. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found, And they began to be merry.
See? The father welcomed his wayward son who repented, with open arms! He even called for a celebration! He did not tell him he needed to do something to earn his place back as a son. Our Father God is like that. When we sin, we do not need to do any good works to earn His forgiveness, to earn back His love; because in the first place, He never stopped loving us even when we were happily living a sinful life. What He requires us to do is to ” confess our sins for He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” – 1 John 1:9. It only takes one step to go back into Jesus’ arms, and that one step is not undoing, it is REPENTANCE. God will not be hard on us, He will not push us away; in fact, He will run straight into us and embrace us once again. Luke 15: 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.
God bless you, brethren!