Why did Jesus tell the story of the Prodigal Son, his most famous of all the parables? He was addressing religious leaders who were scandalized by the company he kept, especially those with him he ate. Eating a meal, sharing a banquet, was considered a very intimate experience. Laws and religious etiquette created borders and boundaries as to those one was free to dine with. Jesus crossed those borders and told this beautiful story which is truly about the lavish, scandalous love of the father, an image of God.
This prodigal father created a huge banquet for a sin who was self absorbed and petulant, wanting his inheritance BEFORE his father died. Horrible!!! We know the “rest of the story,” which ends with this father with a cavernous heart on the OUTSIDE of the party of mercy, begging his self righteous son to come INSIDE and celebrate his younger brother’s return to life. We don’t know the ending for we are to supply the ending.
How would you end the Parable of the Prodigal Son? Your way of completing the story will speak volumes about how you see God and those who gave hurt you.