Understanding Healing, Sickness & Disease? The Heart of the Prodigal Father! Part 3
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 3 in a series of advanced Bible lessons about Where Sickness and Disease Came From. If you have not read this series of lessons from the beginning, then I would suggest that you go back to Part 1 and start there. I have already revealed a lot of information in this series, so today I will try not to repeat those statements that I have already uncovered. What I want to do is to give you a different perspective on this subject of healing, sickness and disease using some scriptures that you possibly did not understand how they even applied to the subject. So today I want to talk about a story that Jesus taught us in Luke and in this story He reveals a great number of spiritual truths about some things that you should be aware of. This story is popularly called the parable of the “Prodigal Son” and I want to shift the focus off of the son and reveal what else this story teaches us. First off, many people call this lesson a parable and I am not totally convinced that this is actually accurate. You see in most of the parables that Jesus taught, He would almost always say “the kingdom of heaven is like…” and then reveal what it is like. He does not say that in this story. Regardless of if this is a parable or not, the truths given are still present and relative to my subject. However, I still believe that this story is a literal account of a hidden spiritual truth and if this is true, then it has more direct meanings than that which can be observed from the normal surface reading of the text. Almost everyone who teaches on this subject of the “Prodigal Son” teaches the story from the perspective of the son. They focus only on his arrogant attitude, the bad choices that he selfishly chooses and his coming into poverty and despair and finally his humility to return back home. This is a classic sinner story and people teach it this way predominantly. However, I believe that this story is more about the Father of the son than it is the son and people generally ignore this information. You might question in your mind what does the “Prodigal Son” have to do with sickness and disease? Here is a story that has nothing to do with healing directly, but in understanding this story you will soon learn that it has everything to do with healing. We are going to go through most of the story verse by verse for your benefit to see what we can learn from it and I want to start with Luke 15:11:
Luk 15:11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
This is the beginning of why I said this is not a parable. Nowhere does Jesus say Heaven is like a man with two sons. There is no direct comparison statement of anything being like anything else, but instead Jesus says there is a “certain man”. When you understand how the Bible was written, you begin to see how God leaves it open to many possible interpretations of who Jesus is speaking of. You can think completely naturally and think Jesus is speaking of just an anonymous man on the earth that he knew, but wouldn’t want to tell us who it was. You could also think that Jesus is just speaking in parables of no one in particular and only trying to teach some life lessons in this story. Or you could think like me and try to see that God is describing His family in the terms that we could relate to. I want to stop here and review what the term “certain” means or at the least implies. To me the word “certain” means it is this way and not any other way. It is a very specific and unique adjective that implies Jesus knew exactly who he was speaking about. This means Jesus is not speaking of an anonymous man just to tell a natural story that has a spiritual lesson, but Jesus has someone in mind who He is talking about and this man with the two sons is actually the primary subject that we need to focus on in this lesson. It is true that Jesus never names the individuals or tells us directly who or what it is that He is speaking of. However, this is a common way that God spoke of Himself using an anonymous third party type of reference. In fact if you read my last Bible lesson that I posted, you will know that Jesus often times called Himself a man without saying He was this man. For example, there is the time in Matthew 19:4 where Jesus makes this statement:
Mat 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
Who is “He” that made them in the beginning? You can clearly see that God is speaking and He is saying that some anonymous male created them in the beginning and whoever this was made them male and female and God the creator was the one that was personally speaking these words. So God was telling a true factual story without claiming to be the creator even though that is clearly who He was. So this is the way the Bible is written many times. Jesus will tell you a story of a “certain man” and this is actually a story about Himself, but He could not say that or He would have been stoned on the spot by the religious zealots who did not understand who they were listening to. Let me give you another example of this technique used by God:
Mat 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
You really need to learn this technique of Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight that God uses very often. The translators actually messed this verse up with the words “the kingdom of heaven is as”, this verse actually says “for a certain man traveling into a far country…” in the original Greek language. Again Jesus is speaking of an unnamed man who travels into a “far country” that is actually referring to God in the terms of a man. You see God was this man who had left heaven to come to the earth in person. God had previously given this world into the hands of the man Adam to tend and work His garden and Adam sells out the garden to Satan and allows God’s enemy to take control of it and this is more than I should have said on that. I am going to try not to get off of my mainline subject too much, but I want you to understand that if this is God being described to be this certain man in Luke 15, then God has more than one son. You see the NIV translators have made a huge blunder in scriptures like John 3:16 when they say Jesus is the “One and Only Son” of God. Christians are called the sons of god in several places in the New Testament and even angels are called the sons of God a few times in the Old Testament. So it is clear to me that God has more than one son. I do not have time to explain any of this here so either accept it or ignore it and let’s move on.
Luk 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
The younger son, or you could call him the second born comes to his father and asks for his inheritance before his father has died. So this is an impatient obnoxious son who thinks he deserves his wealth right now. It sounds like a lot of children in the world today. This is a difficult subject to actually understand if you think it is God who is the Father in this story. Because you cannot read the descriptions of either son mentioned and easily apply them to Jesus the normal Son of God that we all think of. However, the translators obviously thought this was a story of God since they capitalized the title “Father”. Anyway let’s continue on in the story:
Luk 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
So the younger son takes his money and goes to a far country where he squanders all of his fortune. Did you notice that the son is leaving his father’s house and going into a far country? Didn’t that sound similar to the story that Jesus told in Matthew 25:14? There are some pretty amazing little details found when you start comparing stories that Jesus used to teach with. This verse in Luke in the modern world would be like a son taking all of his dad’s money and moving to Las Vegas and then gambling, drinking and partying until he is broke. I see people like this on TV all the time.
Luk 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
So the son’s timing was not so good for him. Either he made the wrong choices to begin with or his short sighted thought process did not plan for any future. This is often the attitude of people in the world. He has spent all that he had and now a famine strikes the land. Doesn’t it seem like when things can’t get any worse, they suddenly do. Of course a famine is a symbolic reference to not having any spiritual food. God actually calls His Word the Manna from Heaven and this is spiritual food, but I guess I won’t go there either today. You see even though I do not believe that this story is a parable, I do believe that it has vast amounts of symbolic language imbedded in it. I guess in a way that means it could be viewed as a parable. I am not opposed to calling it a parable if that is what you would like. Regardless of what you want to call it, every noun still has a symbolic representation of a spiritual reality.
Luk 15:15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
I wish I could tell you more about what the implied symbolic references in these verses mean, but that would just confuse you since I am mainly talking about healing, sickness and disease. Just take note that when you join yourself to someone, that is a covenant relationship. A covenant is a marriage type of relationship between two individuals who are joined to become one flesh. That means what one of them has is what the other one has and vice versa. If you do not understand Bible covenants then you should go and read my lessons on “Understanding Bible Covenants”. I will also mention that feeding swine is a Jewish Law and a traditional no, no for any covenant man of God. The Old Covenant people of God were steered far away from pork and even today in kosher meals this is strictly forbidden. But, here this younger son was found working with that which was forbidden.
Luk 15:16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
As you can continue to read in Luke, the son is becoming fairly desperate so that he begins to eat the pig food to stay alive. There is no man that will help him. It is a classic example of how popular you are when you are rich with money and how much you are a nobody when you are at the bottom as a homeless man. This is true today in our world also. This is why this story is taught so much from the sinner perspective. It is actually a perfect example of many people in the world that each of us know.
Luk 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
So the young son finally has a G.E. light bulb brilliant idea and remembered where he came from. In his father’s house the servants ate better than he was eating. He decides that it would be better to be a servant of his old family than to die lonely in a foreign country. How can you not see what this story is saying? Is the son afraid of his father? Does the son think that his Father will hurt or harm him? The son has no one that cares, but has decided to take a chance and go back home to the last person that cared for him. I think that more Christians today need to have the same light bulb moment about their Father.
Luk 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
Luk 15:19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
Here is where it is really starting to get very relevant to sickness and disease. You see in the last lesson I taught on this subject I talked about sin was one of the primary causes for sickness. Jesus taught us this in at least two great examples. When He saw a crippled man that was healed, Jesus told him “sin no more least a worst thing come unto you”. So Jesus taught us sin was a cause and sickness was an effect of the sin. Here in verse 18 of Luke, the son clearly admits to the fact that he has sinned against his Father. So this young man has determined that he will repent and tell his Father that he has sinned and ask his Father to make him His servant. As you can see, this son has had a major change of heart from the beginning of the story. He has become humble, repentant and he clearly regrets his choices that he has made. All of this actually sounds a lot like me and if you are a real Christian it probably sounds like you also. I can easily put myself in the shoes of the young man, but that is not my message today either.
Luk 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
So the son is going back home to his Father’s house. That is actually a great example for us. This is actually why I said this story is about the Father more than it is about the son. You can clearly see that the Father was looking for his son’s return daily. The Father was in faith, expecting his son to return home and this is based upon the extreme Divine Love of the Father for His son. Before the son could get home, the Father runs out to meet him so that He can beat him, curse him down and bring him to the pit of despair for wasting his money and all of the sinning that he has done against Him. This is the attitude of many very confused Christians in the world today. They believe that God is out to curse them, punish them, judge them, teach them a lesson, make them sick with cancer or wipe them out with a giant tsunami or some other natural disaster because of their sins. Is that what this Father does to his lost son? Did this Father ever send out one of his servants to hurt his child? Did the Father ever go out and try to find His son to hurt him? It appears to me that the Father really just wanted to love His son back into His house with open arms.
Luk 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
Here is God the Father’s heart being revealed to us from His own mouth. God says bring out the best for my son who has returned home. Of course this son was foolish and of course this son sinned and of course he deserved to be beaten or punished, but this was not the heart of the Father. Do you understand how crazy it is to say that God puts sickness and disease upon people just because they make a mistakes and sin? It makes me want to cry when I read this story and think of the people accusing God as being the one who is teaching, judging or correcting, them with sickness and disease. This prodigal son did not get what he deserved; he got what the Father’s heart wanted to give him. This was based upon mercy and compassion and the deep love of the Father for His child. Do not ever entertain a place anywhere in your mind that your sickness is from God. If you do this you are foolishly misdirecting the consequences of your own actions. You see the Father had nothing to do with the seeds that the prodigal son had sown and reaped. The prodigal son was getting exactly what he had planted until he turned his mind back unto his father who loved him. There are many “Predestination Theologians” who will try to tell you the “Prodigal” was predestined to fail, but you see God in His love allowed the son to make his own freewill mistakes and learn from them and that is what a loving Father does. I mean a loving father will always try to teach the child the way to go, but if the child wants to go his own way then that is their choice. I know I have been there. I guess I could go on in the story to show you how the older son gets angry with the father for not passing judgment on the mistakes of the younger brother. You can see this spirit and attitude still exists in the church today when I try to write about a loving father’s heart and they want a God who kills people with cancer.
Get to know your Father God and learn to see His heart for you. When you do this you will see that God wants to bless you with the fatted calf and a feast of great proportions. God wants to cloth you with the robe of righteousness and put the ring on your finger. God desires to have you come and sit and take your place at the table like you never left or did anything wrong. This is the forgiveness of the Father’s heart and all it takes is for you to start back towards His house and He will see you a far off and run to meet you. There are still consequences for the son’s actions but, the Father’s heart is consistently dedicated to bless the son the best that He can. You have to just ignore verses and stories like these in the Bible or explain them away if you want to teach a Gospel that brings sickness from God to judge, correct and teach His people for their sins. There are just too many conflicts in the New Testament for me to believe that God ever puts sickness on people, but yet I get comments about this way too often from people who want to focus in on the Old Testament verses that they quote to me over and over like I never read them. I only wish they knew the same Father that I knew. Maybe when they finally come to themselves and turn back to the Father’s house they will also see Him running towards them also. I guess right now they are still living in Vegas and thinking everything is under control. Oh well? I hope that you enjoyed my Bible lesson and learned something that will give you hope to know your Father’s heart. God Bless!
If you would like to continue reading in this series, you can go to “Part 4“.
Posted on March 30, 2011, in Bible Study, Healing, Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, Faith, God, Healing, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Knowledge, Prophecy, Religion, Salvation, Truth, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.