Why did the prodigal son leave?
The story of the prodigal son is one of my favorite parables in the Bible. I’ve read this passage of scripture countless times, and every time I read it I notice something new.
Why did the prodigal son leave his father’s house?
That’s a question I’ve asked myself many times. When the son leaves, we don’t know much about his situation. But, when he returns, we can see that the son had a good life before he left.
The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly why the son left, but we can make some educated guesses based on his actions.
First, we notice that the son was rebellious.
When he leaves with his father’s inheritance, the son goes away and spends all of his money on wild living. One of the reasons he left was to get away from the rules he lived under in his father’s house. We can assume that the father had set rules and standards for his family, and the son didn’t want to adhere to those rules anymore.
Second, we see that the son is prideful and dishonoring.
When the son asks his father to give him his inheritance, he’s really telling his father, “I wish you were dead.” The Bible says that when we honor our mother and father, things will go well for us. Telling your father you wish he was dead is the opposite of honor.
There’s also pride. The son believes that his life will be better if he’s in control of everything. Since the father in this parable represents God, the son is representing the people who say things like: “I don’t need God’s help, I can do everything on my own.”
Lastly, the son is deceived.
Jesus warns us about deception, and says that many people will be deceived. Deception has led people astray since the Garden of Eden when Satan deceived Adam and Eve.
The Bible says that the son came back to his senses or came to himself and realized he should return to his father’s house. When the son left, he wasn’t in his right mind—the enemy was deceiving him and caused him to make a bad decision.
Thankfully, this story has a good ending. The son realizes that he shouldn’t have left, returns to his father’s house, and repents for his actions. The father shows him grace and mercy, and helps restore his son’s life.