Luke 15:16-20

Luke 15:16 (KJB)
And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

As he was feeding the swine, he himself had desired to eat those husks because he was very hungry. The husks were a type of pods were as big as twelve inches (31 cm) which came from the carob or locust trees, and they looked like sheep horns. These pods were good for swine food but were horrible for human consumption. The pigs were eating better than the young man. This is the reality of the world system. It lures with all kinds of false promises and in the end stings like an adder. (Prov 23:32 KJV) At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder. Your life really hits bottom when you envy pigs!

Luke 15:17 (KJB)
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!

Hunger is a great cudgel for making the right moves. Then he began to think right and started to realize something. He realized that his father was wealthy and had many hired servants which had food enough to give to him. He then realizes that they are probably eating very well while he is feeding the pigs food which was not suitable for human consumption. He initially thought that he could attach himself to one of the hired servants because he knew that he had disrespected his father and left him in a very arrogant manner but now he is going to come back as a humbled man. If he worked for one of the servants, then at least he would have food to eat. He probably thought that his father would reject him and he would have to leave permanently but this way, as a servant to a servant, he might be able to stay. Isn’t this the attitude of those who walk with the world? Don’t bother me with all that religious stuff because I am good and can make it my way! Then after the world system chews them up and spits them out, then the arrogance is slowly pealed away like one peels an onion and they are humbled. Then they don’t refuse the tracts!

Luke 15:18 (KJB)
I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,

The son now is moved with the spirit of repentance decides to go to his father and rehearses what he will say. First, he will go to him and confess that he had wronged his father and disrespected him. He will confess to him that he sinned against Heaven and before thee. The word “before” carries with it the meaning of “in the sight or presence of.” Here we have a picture of the heavenly Father dealing with one of His elect. First of all he sinned against Heaven because he had preferred the world system over the things of Heaven. Then he confesses that his sin was not only against Heaven but before the Father. Remember the meaning of before was “in the sight or presence of?” God, who is omniscient, sees all the actions His elect take. An earthly father could not see what his son was doing in that far country but God saw every action. (Heb 4:13 KJV) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Luke 15:19 (KJB)
And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

He then rehearsed that he would claim unworthiness to be his son since he treated him in such an evil manner. He was resolved to the desire that his father should make him as one of his hired servants. In other words, this young man was willing to forsake his family relationship in exchange for being a hired servant because he truly had repented of his actions and really thought that his sonship was now at an end. He totally failed to understand the strong bond of family. A child can be wayward, but that does not mean he loses his family relationship. As God’s children we are saved by grace and that grace can never be triumphed over by sin because grace is greater than sin. This does not mean we go out and do what we want, it means that grace and Calvary are stronger than sin carrying with it the ability to restore wayward Christians.

Luke 15:20 (KJB)
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.

After he had rehearsed in his mind what he would say and what he would offer his father for reconciliation, he then made the journey back home. He did not even have the initial opportunity to speak with His father because he was a long way off, that is, he was still a distance from his father. When his father saw him, he had compassion on him probably because he saw the condition that he was in from hunger. When he saw his son, he ran to him. He did not get the reception he thought he would nor deserved. The father actually ran to him which is something that a man of status never did. (Gen 45:14 KJV) And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. To fall on one’s neck is a great expression of love and affection the waiting father had for him. Then he kissed him which was another great sign of affection and love. The most significant part of this is not that the boy had left, but that he is back. (Phil 3:13 KJV) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, If you can change the past, then do so, but if you can’t, then begin to live from the point of repentance on.