The younger son is like many young people in every generation. His breakaway from home was decisive, radical, and with haste. The crisis which the prodigal son experienced was extreme. He bagan to calculate how he could improve his situation by attempting to become one of his father’s hired servants. The son’s motives were less than pure. He did not experience a conversion at this point. His move to return home was not what the Bible knows as repentance. This fact heightens the action of his father in accepting him and restoring him to full sonship. The elder brother no doubt, illustrates the many who have remained nominally and physically in the family of God’s children, but whose participation has been shallow and self-righteous. He mirrors the spirit of relying on the self and one’s good works in formal membership, without grasping the essence of real relationshiop in the family. His lack of appreciation for the father’s joy is a commentary on his failures in this respect (vs 29-31). The loving father is actually the central person of the parable. He is earnest in his desire to have the son back. He typifies the action of grace in receiving the returning son by love and without merit. He is a human being depicting what is God’s grace and love in a much larger sense. God is earnest in his desire to save all people and his patience is beyond human understanding. The whole household joined in the celebration (vs 22,25). The lesson for the church today underscores the need for receiving sinners and for the whole congregation to join in the gladness of heaven over such a recovery: those who are safely in the fold are a treasure to the Father in heaven and of long-lasting joy, but the coming home of one lost sinner is a joy almost without bounds.