The young Simba was forced to flee from his home, deceived into believing he was responsible for his father’s death. His father was Mufasa, the Lion King and his uncle Scar schemed his was up the governmental ladder. After years of wandering in exile, he finally met with the village sage – Rafiki – who hit him on the head and ‘knocked some sense into him’. He was reminded of his heritage, his birthright as the son of the king and the heir to the throne.
This interesting tale of intrigue and restoration is a favourite among the young (and the young at heart) but I wonder if the nuances implied are ever deduced by such young minds. It is a story of restoration similar to that of the prodigal son in the bible. Those of us who had the privilege of attending Sunday School would have heard that story a thousand times by now and will begin to wonder what new lessons can be drawn from it.
In the book of Luke, chapter 15, the story includes an interesting detail that is the focus of this article. Verse 17 reads: “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!” He came to his senses…he woke up from his stupor…he remembered where he came from…he remembered who he really was!
To remember means to:
- have in or be able to bring to one’s mind an awareness of (someone or something from the past): I remember the screech of the horn as the car came towards me | no one remembered his name.
- bear (someone) in mind by making them a gift or making provision for them: he has remembered the boy in his will.
- (remember oneself) recover one’s manners after a lapse.
The prodigal son obviously had a good heritage and had been raised with the full awareness of his rights and privileges as a son. He had a good understanding of this and was able to ask for his inheritance at a time when it could be given to him. His understanding was clearly lacking and as such he wasted his resources ‘in wild living’. He had no understanding of the ‘Burden of Freedom’. His idea of freedom was completely devoid of responsibility.
The moral of the story is ‘that he came to his senses’. Like Simba in ‘The Lion King’, the prodigal son remembered the good heritage and the expectations of his family. He remembered his pedigree and thought to himself – even the hired servants have food to spare! Why am I subjecting myself to such a debase existence?
I challenge you today to remember your heritage:
- you have been chosen by God the Father to be a joint-heir with the Lord Jesus;
- chosen to be seated with Christ far above the influence of principalities and powers, above spiritual wickedness in high places;
- chosen to show God’s wisdom and grace on this earth, by the power of the Holy Spirit;
- chosen to teach your children, nieces and nephews, siblings, friends, about your divine heritage and to welcome them into ‘the fellowship of the brethren’, into the family of God.
Don’t flee from the pressures of a ‘jealous uncle’ and shy away from your heritage because of a mistake you may have made. Sin comes to ‘convince’ you of your weakness, claiming you do not deserve what is already yours! Don’t shrug off the responsibility of freedom, thinking you can handle the appeal of lawlessness. The weight of the pain of failure and the scars leading to self-doubt are life threatening and many hardly recover from them. You don’t need to be prodigal. Remember who you are!