One of the most famous parables that Jesus ever told was the story of the prodigal son. It’s the story of a son who demanded his share of his father’s inheritance. The son then goes off to a distant country and squanders all of his wealth with loose living. Only when he reaches his lowest does he consider returning home. In the surprise of the story, his father not only receives him back home, but celebrates the return of his son who was lost and was now found. Many sinful men and women have found great comfort in this story, knowing that God is like the father, who will receive repentant sinners (Luke 15:11-32).
This story is often called, “The Prodigal Son” and rightly so. Prodigal describes the one who recklessly spends money extravagantly. This is certainly true of the son who left with half of his father’s estate. However, in many ways, this story could easily be called, “The Prodigal God.” The father of the story is wasteful with his mercy. He freely gives half of his estate to his wayward son. It was no surprise that he wasted all of the wealth. Yet, the father freely gave. And when the son returned, the father didn’t demand any sort of payment or restitution. Instead, he lavished his grace and mercy upon his son.
This is a great picture of our God. He is “wasteful” in His mercy. He extends it to undeserving people, like you an me. Praise the Lord for our prodigal God.