In the previous post we considered the demand for grace as the younger of two sons demanded his inheritance and we learned that he departed into a far country and wasted his substance with riotous living. In Luke 15:14-16 we discover in the parable of the prodigal son, the need for grace.
It begins in verse 14 with a worsening condition. Jesus relates his circumstances by saying, "When he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in the land." What he could no longer buy he could also no longer cultivate! This left the young man in dire straits. The scripture characterizes it as, "and he began to be in want." His circumstances had become critical.
It is likely that his Father had some awareness of his condition. They knew he had spent his substance on harlots. While he did not likely know the details he likely realized the direction. He did not send him money. He did not send him food. His greatest kindness was to let him suffer the consequences of his wickedness that he might be turned to God. Even this was an act of principled grace because it was not with an eye to destroy him but to deliver him. It simply would not have been an act of grace to support him in his prodigal state thus certainly prolonging if not completely ruining any tendency to repentance.
His rebellion has left him reeling!
In verse 15 he was confronted with a religious reminder. He was sent to feed swine. Animals considered unclean by the Jews. Every day forced to think about what he had come to. Here he was feeding pigs.
Verse 16 reveals the darkness of his desperation. The Bible says, "And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat." Now not just feeding the swine but feasting with them! We ought not be surprised how low arrogant, stubborn rebellion will take a person. I would rather eat pig slop than admit wrong! Young people certainly do not relish the thought of having to acknowledge Dad was right. After all, he had been so wrong!
His dark hour becomes even darker as the Bible explains, "and no man gave unto him." He was feeding and eating with pigs. He had lost all esteem among men. No one wanted anything to do with him now. Where were his drinking buddies? Where were the women that once fawned over him? His fellow creatures looked on him with disgust.
He was physically decimated.
His clothes were tattered and torn.
His expression was forlorn.
He had managed to work himself all the way to the bottom! He found himself in need of GRACE!