Claiming your inheritance. Completely squandering all your money. And then come back home with your legs hanging out? Would you be waiting for someone like that? In this Sandy Tales about forgiveness, this is exactly what happens. How will his father react? After all, he hadn’t died at all. He was pressured by his son to give him his inheritance. And then suddenly the son comes home.
What is Sandy Tales?
Sandy Tales are stories told with sand. The sand creator Harm van Schaik creates together with Jesus.net the most beautiful videos with stories from the Bible. He uses special sand which lies on a lightbox. His hands paint in the sand as it were.
Jesus is a true storyteller. His stories are also called parables. Using examples, Jesus tries to address difficult themes. The stories are mainly intended to hold up a mirror to people. Forgiveness is such a difficult theme. We all have to deal with it from time to time. Someone hurts you or hurts you. It is not always easy to forgive someone when you are angry. Or when you’re disappointed in yourself….
The Lost Son
This Sandy Tales tells the story of the Lost Son, one of Jesus’ most famous parables. Watch the story now.
Let’s walk through the story. In between, you’ll find personal questions to help you think about the story for yourself. After all, that was Jesus’ intention with this kind of story. To make people look in the mirror at their own choices and behavior.
The misery begins with the youngest son. He wants to claim his share of the inheritance, even though his father is still alive. A strange way of going about things. Especially when, a few days later, he sells the whole thing and runs off with the money. He drinks, he parties with his friends, he Stores and squanders. Until there is no money left. And then his friends are nowhere to be found.
He has a job somewhere, herding pigs.
He can find a job somewhere herding pigs. And in his culture that is really the lowest of the low. Pigs were unclean animals and you really shouldn’t go near them. And even these animals had it better than him. Once he was allowed to eat their food. How will he have felt? An empty stomach, dirty, alone and far away from home. It seemed like such a good plan that legacy but now….
Have you ever made a life choice that ended in great disappointment?
The boy must have thought deeply. Would he have made the choice to go home easy? Or would he have been troubled by his conscience? Going back home is a big step. Is his family still waiting for him? On hanging legs he returns home. He would rather work as a servant for his father than stay in this situation. A brave choice. No doubt he will have had to get over his pride. Maybe even had to forgive himself.
Have you ever had to forgive yourself?
What will the journey home have been like? Did he walk with a stone in his stomach? Afraid of being turned away. Or was he secretly hoping for a nice reunion with his father?
Does he see it right? There in the distance. His father. He is just waiting for him. And his father suddenly sees a severely emaciated and soiled young man arriving. What has happened to him? The father takes pity and embraces and kisses his son. The boy asks forgiveness. From his father and from God.
Would you feel sorry for this boy?
His father is especially happy to see his boy again. He has a big party organized. Nice clothes, tasty food. We don’t know how long the time elapses between the departure and the return of the son. Perhaps the father worried about his son for years. He probably had no idea where the boy had gone. Perhaps he has been very disappointed and hurt or even very angry all this time. Yet these feelings do not seem to be there when he sees his son again.
The results of the survey are presented in the table below.
The results of the survey are presented in the next section.
It is clear that his father forgives him. But the story is not yet finished. Because the oldest son doesn’t understand any of it. He is still angry, though. A second chance? He disagrees. That brother of his does not deserve forgiveness.
He is angry, but he does not agree.
The anger is understandable. Your brother runs off with half the money without ever hearing anything again and suddenly he’s on his doorstep and he’s sure to be happy. The oldest son is very troubled by this. After all, he has always taken good care of his father. Never asked for anything extra. Always worked hard.
In this chapter we will focus on the question of how to deal with this issue.
Jesus does not just tell this story. He wants to hold up a mirror to people. The mirror of forgiveness. The story is not only about the prodigal son. It is also about the brother. About the father. About expectations and disappointments. Read more of Jesus’ statements about forgiveness here and read the whole story again in the Bible here.
Do you recognize yourself? In the son who has made mistakes. In the father who is disappointed but somewhat happy when he is together again. Or in the brother who may not be the main character in this story but has certainly experienced pain as well. And maybe also not always shared his own wishes with his father.
In the following pages, we present a series of questions.
The aim of the interview is to explore the process of forgiveness.
Would you like to discuss this story further? Or share your answers to the questions posed in the story? Fill out the contact form and talk it through with one of our e-coaches.
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