The Pig Sty Realization: That Moment When You See Your Life For What It Is

Posted: March 28, 2015 in Gospel of Luke

Luke 16:11-32 — This passage, known as the parable of the prodigal son, is probably one of the most famous of the parables of Jesus. I think to really get the most out of it, we must look at it from the perspective of the three main characters in it, the prodigal son, the father, and the older son. Today, let’s look at it from the perspective of the younger son.

The younger son is any of us. We are all like the younger son. There are very few of us that are saved as children. I know only a few whose claim of salvation at a young age is genuine. And, to those folks, I tip my hat. To know Jesus as your Savior without having had to go through the hard knocks of a hard knock life to get the foot of the cross is awesome. Man, reflecting back on my own life, what a difference that would have made. For I, my friends, had to learn the hard way much like the prodigal son. Here is my take on his story because it is so similar to my story and is probably similar to yours. Oh to not have lived this lifestyle and to have known Christ sooner…

The prodigal son demands his inheritance, goes off into the world (forgetting where he came from and his father) and squanders his inheritance on riotous living. He lived the party lifestyle. I am sure that it involved living the equivalent of today’s nightclub lifestyle. Parties every night. Most likely, he thought he would find love in the fog of booze and loose women. Having the party and taking women to bed I am sure was his main aim in life. He had no forethought of saving money for a rainy day or investing his fortune. It was all about his present day pleasures. Every dime he had was dedicated to making him feel good, making his body feel good, but it was temporary so the process had to be repeated daily. It was all well and good. Life seem perfect in moments. Because happiness seemed so fleeting, the process had to be repeated daily. We don’t pretend to know how much inheritance he was given, but apparently he was able to be self-sufficient for a long period of time. Wild parties were the aim of life because it was in those fleeting moments of seeking self pleasure that he thought he was happy. He probably sought happiness in the arms of women. He would make sure he kept them happy so that he could have what he thought he needed to be happy. He would accept crazy and manipulative to get the pleasure he so desperately sought. In the those nights of fleeting pleasure, he measured his worth and his happiness. The pursuit of pleasure. The pursuit of the feel good made him a slave to the approval of others. He probably compromised his soul often, that feeling that you are doing the wrong thing but you do it anyway, just to keep the pleasures within grasp. Is this prodigal son of the parable or is it me? It all blends together because we are one and the same.

However, like all lives lived for the purpose of self-pleasure it comes crashing down around us at some point. The money runs out. There is a job loss. There is a divorce. There is a financial disaster. There is something. Trouble strikes either through the efforts of others upon us or by the results of our own stupid decisions. The prodigal son loses everything. He finds himself as a hired hand feeding pigs. According to the Law, pigs were unclean animals and could not be eaten. The Jews took the whole clean and unclean animal rules very seriously so for him to find himself slopping pigs was the degradation of all degradations.

How many times in seeking our own way have we compromised our morals? We rationalize it away as being just this one time and once that line is crossed just one time becomes a lifestyle. Life of every changing lines in the sand becomes our life. What was once wildly unacceptable in our past now becomes things that we rationalize as acceptable now because it meets the needs of the moment. The line in the sand called integrity is so far off in the distance now that it is no longer a line in the distance it is a dot because it is so far off in the distance. We live in the fog of “this is my life now” and “this is how it’s going to be from now on.” Compromised. Valueless. Just existing in the slop that is our lives. There is no joy. It’s just trying to make do with our lives in the situations that we find ourselves. One day though, we wake up and look at the mess that our lives have become with an eye of reality. There has got to be something better than this. I have tried everything. I have tried to find happiness in things, in the pleasures of women, and all the stuff that money can buy. Pleasing myself and pleasing others so I could please myself and what do I have to show for it. A trail of destruction, used up relationships, relationships that have thrown me to the ash heap, and no future.

This is the prodigal son’s point of realization. This is my point of realization. This is where we find Jesus. When we look in the mirror and see that our self-seeking for what it is. When we find ourselves in the pig sty, before this moment comes, we often blame others for us being there. We blame the ex-spouse. We blame the ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. If only that would have not…If only they would have…That fuels us. Blaming others for our troubled life. It helps us rationalize the slop that we find ourselves in. One day we wake up though. We rationalize that the pig sty is actually ok to be slogging around it. We make it beautiful in our minds. However, one day we wake up and see, actually see, that we are in the pig sty. We quit blaming others for where we are. We see where we are and what part we played in it. We become broken. We see ourselves for the liars, theives, adulterers, idolaters, greed-filled, evil beings that we are. We see ourselves and our situation. We cry out to our Father. We come humbly home to Him. We ask Jesus to take the wheel.

He clothes us in His finest robe. He accepts us and forgives us for the past that we have. The ugly past that we have is no longer important. He accepts us as if we had not sin because of the robe. The robe of righteousness that He places upon us. He makes us clean in the robe. Even though we are still pig sty sloppy underneath the robe, he treats us as if we are clean. Our past is covered in His robe. We are accepted as clean and pure in Him. He invites us to His banquet table in the position of honor. Even though we are wayward whores who have compromised our principles and given away our lives to our lusts, He is the faithful husband who accepts his wife back into his home and treats her with high regard because he loves her so much. There is nothing that you and I have done that cannot be forgiven when we reach our knees in front of our Father. We are made clean in His robes. We are made clean in Jesus.

Have you open your eyes to the pig sty of your life? Wake up and see the empty life without Jesus? Come home. Come home. Your heavenly Father awaits. Come home. Come to Jesus. He will forgive you. He forgave the the prodigal son and made Him new again. He did it for me. He can do it for you? Come home.

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