The British novelist Charles Dickens (1812-1870), famous for many works including A Tale of Two Cities, once remarked about a short story that could be titled A Tale of Two Sons, the story of the Prodigal Son, that it was the greatest short story in history.
Mark Twain agreed.
Though it’s only about 500 words long depending on the translation, it’s filled with powerful imagery about love, family, home, God, us, rebellion, redemption, righteousness, self-righteousness, joy, sorrow, sin, salvation, confession, and so much more.
You may be tempted to think, “Been there, done that,” but please try to resist the notion that because the elements and scenes of this epic story are familiar, we have exhausted its value to us.
Don’t let familiarity breed indifference. The nuances in this story will be of great benefit to everyone, from the secular seeker, to the scriptural novice, to the advanced student of the Bible.