The Vibe of the Prodigal Son

The Prodigal Son is a rich kid who asks for his inheritance early then spends it all on a brief but heady life of nonstop partying. So far, so good. However, there is no welfare state to look after people when things go bad so when the money runs out, he is left with a dilemma – go back to dad with his tail between his legs or get a job. Too proud to go home, he chooses option B, but unhappily for him, there is a famine and the only job he can find is looking after some pigs. The pig herding vibe is the most taboo job a Jew can do and to make things worse, our hero is so down and out he resorts to eating the food the pigs can’t manage. Finally, the boy has a moment of clarity and realises that even his dad’s servants have a better lifestyle than a starving pig herder so he decides to go home, beg forgiveness and see if he can get a job on the old man’s farm. Dad sees him coming from a long way off and not only welcomes him with open arms, he arranges for the calf he’s been fattening for a special occasion to be killed for a celebration meal. The brother who stayed home is rightly livid, but dad buddies up to him and reassures him that he will still receive everything the old man owns. He reminds the boy that he thought his other son was dead and his joy is because the lad has come home. The underlying vibe of the story – and the reason Jesus tells it - is to show that God doesn’t care how bad a person has been, anyone who is genuinely sorry for their past behaviour will get a warm welcome. Big, happy, champagne cork popping, bear hug vibes.

General vibe of the Prodigal Son: Everyone deserves a second chance.

Factvibe: Charles Dickens called the Prodigal Son the best short story ever told.
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