The Servants and the Prodigal Family

Have you ever noticed how often the servants are mentioned in Luke 15? That’s where we find the famous Parable of the Prodigal Son. Each of the main characters in the story interacts with the servants in a significant way.

The youngest son, the one who takes his inheritance early and squanders it in a far away country, when he’s at his lowest, who does he remember? His father, sure. But more specifically, his father’s servants. They eat pretty good. The father treats them well. The youngest son wants to be like one of those servants.

The memory of those servants drives the youngest son back home.

The father, who generously welcomes the youngest son when he returns, when he’s filled with joy at the return of his lost son, what does he do? He turns to his servants and gives them work: find a ring, go get sandals, grab a robe, kill the fatted calf.

The presence of the servants provides a channel for the father’s generosity.

The oldest son, who refuses to enter the house and join the “Welcome home” party, when he’s confused about the unexpected festivities, who does he turn to? He grabs one of the servants, someone going about the father’s business, someone in the know, someone who can bring clarity. The servant tells the oldest son that his brother has returned.

The message of the servant creates a crisis for the son who stayed home.

In a way, we’re like those servants. Near to the Father. Given good work by him. At times, revealing the generosity of the Father. At times, creating crises for those who think that they’ve always been with the Father.

Do you see yourself in the servants?

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