The Berean Expositor
Volume 33 - Page 111 of 253
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"Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein
thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same
things" (Rom. 2: 1).
The prodigal wasted his own substance, but the self-righteous Pharisees, who looked
upon themselves as leaders and guides, had through unfaithfulness and self-seeking
wasted the goods entrusted to them.
When one reflects on the possibilities that lay in man as first created in the image of
God, and then turns and considers him to-day, surely he has indeed gone into a far
country and there wasted his substance.
"He came to himself" (Luke 15: 13-16).
pp. 65 - 67
By a series of descending steps, this parable brings the prodigal at last "to himself",
and with the discovery of all that these words imply, the change commencing with the
blessed words "I will arise" begins. He had taken his journey into a "far country", he had
wasted his substance in "riotous" living, and when he had "spent all" a mighty famine
reduced him to destitution--he began to be "in want".  Here we have distance,
dissipation, destitution. But this is not all. To this list must be added degradation, for the
prodigal descended so low as to feed "swine".
"The far country."--When the Scriptures would speak of Gentiles, of sinners, or of
Israel in disgrace, it speaks of them as being "far off". In contrast, the position of the
elder son is marked, "Son thou art ever with me". The younger son well represented the
condition of the "publicans and sinners" the presence of whom was the immediate cause
of the utterance of the three parables of Luke 15: as verses 1 and 2 indicate.
"He spent all."--"Wherefore do you spend money for that which is not bread?" asked
the prophet (Isa. 55: 2). This reveals one aspect of the prodigal's failure. The woman
who "had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse"
(Mark 5: 26) reveals another aspect of utter failure, for salvation cannot be bought, it is
the gift of God. Whether we spend all as the prodigal and come to want, or whether we
spend all like the sick woman and yet grow worse, it is evident that all such spending is
The prodigal hastened his end by spending his portion in "riotous living". The word
translated "riotous" is asotos, a compound of a, a negative, and a derivative of so, "save".
From this root come the words soteria, "salvation", and such compounds as sophron,
"sober" or a "saved" mind, in other words "sane". The prodigal, like many another,
thought he would see "life", but what he really saw was a glimpse of corruption and
death. He had not only wasted his substance, but he had spent it all on that which was
"without salvation", in other words, he was bankrupt. It is no accident that Luke uses