Summary: Everyone loves a good comeback story. It's thrilling to see someone go from being on the verge of defeat to clawing their way back into it and then achieve the impossible comeback. Let's take a look at the parable of the prodigal son-the comeback kid.
THE COMEBACK KID
Everyone loves a good comeback story. It's thrilling to see someone go from being on the verge of defeat to clawing their way back into it and then achieve the impossible comeback. There have been many memorable comebacks in sports. One of the most famous ones is known as, The Comeback. In 1993, the Buffalo Bills were trailing the Houston Oilers 35-3 in the 2nd half of their playoff game when quarterback Frank Reich threw four touchdowns to lead the Bills to a 41-38 win in the biggest NFL comeback in history.
We love to see people rise above adversity and triumph. Many consider Abe Lincoln to be the greatest president. He grew up poor, failed at business twice and had a nervous breakdown. He lost when he ran for Congress, lost twice when he ran for the Senate and lost as a vice presidential candidate. One might think he should look for a new career. But, he pressed on and made an amazing comeback. He was elected the 16th president, led the country to reconciliation and won re-election.
Then there was the greatest individual comeback of them all-the resurrection of Jesus. Mary Lee sent me a video sermon by Kyle Idleman and Dave Stone about Jesus' resurrection being the greatest comeback ever. Kyle and Dave stated that there were three elements that were needed in each comeback story: 1. The moment when you think it's over. 2. The moment you start to believe. 3. When the victory happens and the celebration begins.
It made me think of something else I had seen earlier that day. My Mom posted a meme about the Prodigal Son. I realized that the three elements in a comeback are found in the story of the prodigal son. So today we'll look at the story of the comeback kid.
1) The bad game plan (11-16).
"Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything."
Sometimes teams get into the predicament they're in because of a bad game plan or a poorly executed one. Sometimes they're not prepared for the opposition or nothing seems to be working for them that day. There are times when we find ourselves in a trying situation that isn't our fault; it's the circumstances of life. Then there are the times when it is our fault; we make poor choices-we have a bad game plan-like our young friend here.
He wanted so badly to go out and experience the life he was missing out on. Sometimes we can be tricked into believing the grass is greener on the other side. We don't want to be under our father's thumb anymore. Usually teenagers have this attitude. 'I can't wait to get out of here so I can do whatever I want'. Then they get out on their own, live it up for a while then reality hits and they realize they didn't have it as bad as they thought they did.
But we can be the same way with our heavenly Father. Sometimes we get an attitude and we're not going to allow anything to stop us from doing what we want. God's ways are too restrictive-go out and have some fun-you owe it to yourself. So, we do it our way and pay the price. Satan was able to convince Eve she was missing out and he operates the same way today.
I'm sure when the younger son asked for the inheritance his father questioned him about it. I don't know what the son told him but it obviously was a great concern once he left the house. So, the question arises as to why the father allowed it. Adam Clarke's commentary mentions it was actually customary for this to happen and it could become a legal matter if the son decided to challenge the father's refusal.
But I think the point here is that the father allowed the son to make his own choices. Our heavenly father will do the same. As I'm sure the prodigal son's father tried to talk some sense into him, the heavenly Father will do the same for us. But in the end, we will be left to our own free will.