The Parable of the Prodigal Son
Luke 15:11–32 contains the longest of the 3 parables recorded in Luke 15, and perhaps Jesus’ most famous parable (at least one of the top few): the parable of the Prodigal Son. The parable is often seen quite literally as a not much of a parable at all, but rather an example story about forgiveness. But as we will see, it definitely contains deeper, symbolic meaning, fits well the label of “parable,” and also goes very nicely with the previous two parables from this chapter. Make sure to read parts 1, 2, and 3 of this series of articles first, if you have not already read them.
Definition of a Parable
First let’s briefly look at what a parable is. Dictionary.com defines the word like this: “A statement or comment that conveys a meaning indirectly by the use of comparison, analogy, or the like.” So a parable is essentially a story of