The younger son shows a lack of respect for authority and deference to his elders. His central problem is pride, just as it was the root of Satan's failure (Isaiah 14:13). He finds out that shame and destruction follow pride (Proverbs 11:2; 16:18). In his disrespect for authority, he thinks primarily of himself, totally disregarding how it affects others. His request for his inheritance is not to benefit others but to pursue pleasure—especially entertainment (Proverbs 21:17). As a result, his unwise actions bring him to the point of despair and a re-evaluation of his life.
By demanding his share of his inheritance before his parents' deaths, he shows that he looks upon God's gifts as debts rightfully owed to him. Impatiently, he demands his share immediately. People today constantly, selfishly, and arrogantly press their rights rather than fulfill responsibilities. Many will not wait until marriage for sex but seek it now. They do not want to work for wealth but gamble to get it immediately. Sadly, they will also wait a long time before taking care of their spiritual needs—and then only when brought to despair (II Corinthians 6:2; Ecclesiastes 7:8).
Martin G. Collins
Parables of Luke 15 (Part Three)
Here we witness the prodigal son, driven by excessive pride, heading down a dangerous path away from the security of life at home with his father. Not only did he display a foolhardy lack of patience, but in that time, to demand an inheritance early was considered an act of disrespect toward one's father. It was as if he were saying, “Father, I wish you were already dead.” However, despite his son's insolence, the father showed no anger and gave the boy what he had demanded.
Ted E. Bowling
The Elder Brother
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