Saturday 18 August 2012

Thought Picnic: No Parable of the Prodigal Friend

The Prodigal Friend
I wondered why Jesus never told a parable of the prodigal friend, He did tell one of a prodigal son and the redeeming power of fatherly love despite the failings of that son who justifiably should have been consigned to the scrapheap.
The story of realisation and reconciliation is both profound and deep; it is however amazing how that could easily be seen in real life.
As I thought on this, I realised there was no need for a parable of the prodigal friend because friends have a particularly practical significance that is either of clear dedication or sad betrayal.
The involved friends
The practical example of this friendship was demonstrated at a meeting Jesus had in a house where he was teaching, the house was so crowded full of the Pharisees and scribes that no one else could have access.
A lame man had four of his friends help him to that venue, no doubt with the view to having the miraculous power of Jesus heal him. When they could not get into the house, they climbed on the roof, removed the roofing tiles and let their friend down into the midst of the crowd in the presence of Jesus.
As the story goes, Jesus saw their faith and with that he told the lame man his sins were forgiven and he should pick up his bed and walk, which he promptly did to the marvel all present to see the miracle and the consternation of those who debated the issue of forgiveness of sins.
What was clear was what the friends did to contribute to the lame man’s access to healing, most importantly, they wanted him fit and able as themselves than for him to be limited in his interaction with them – a prodigal friend of sorts.
The Prodigal Brother
Conversely, what is said of the brother of the prodigal son is interesting that I am inclined to call him the prodigal brother by reason of the fact that he had status, opportunity and privilege but failed to realise any of that until when he noticed the merciful and loving expression of his father to his brother.
What he always had with his father but never deigned to live in the fullness of, led to his nursing resentment, anger and offence at what was so avoidable if he had availed himself of the standing and the reality of who he was.
Friends can stick closer than a brother, a friend showed such great love that he laid down his life for his friends. It is a matter of character and personality to find friends who are ready to bear you down in your bed into the presence of the biggest miracle of your life – friends are experience and much more but we need discernment to determine true friends from fair-weather friends or just mere acquaintances.
For those who have felt betrayed by those they call friends, have mercy and keep the ones that do really care. For there comes a time when friends do matter, because then, we are totally helpless and needful of them.
Note: The first publication of this blog was full of errors, I probably should have left writing it until the morrow, but I was determined to get it out. In any case, my friend @zebbook on Twitter noticed the poor editing and discreetly informed me of the poor copy. I hope I have repaired the damage; else, I’ll have another look when the daze of my pills wears off. Thanks Bukola.

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