In this first half of the parable of the prodigal (meaning “wasteful and reckless”) son, we are reminded of the prodigal (meaning “lavish and extravagant”) love and grace of God. In verses 11-20a the focus is on the prodigal. In these verses we see his rebellious heart (in which he selfishly asks for his inheritance), his reckless living (where he squanders his inheritance), his repulsive estate (where he is humiliated and hungry) and finally we see his reasonable decision (to return to his father and seek to become a servant). The first three show us one who, in the eyes of the Jews – was about as big a sinner and as foolish a person as possible. The last sets up the tension in the story – will he be accepted back, even as a servant? The focus then turns to the prodigal father in verses 20b-24. There we find an expectant father who longed for his son to come home; a compassionate father who ran to his son and embraced him; a gracious father who restored his boy to the place of being a son; and a joy-filled father – who celebrated the return of his lost/dead son, for now he was found/alive. All of this points us to our dreadful estate of sin and misery when we are away from God, and how God welcomes us home when we turn back to him. He does not welcome us begrudgingly – we warmly welcomes us home, lavishes his grace on us and even bears our shame.