From the "The Parable of the Prodigal Son," briefly characterize the father."The Parable of the Prodigal Son"

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Parable of the Prodigal Son," the father is one who loves his son unconditionally. His son takes his share of wealth or inheritance from the father, leaves home, spends it all and finds himself hungry:

But when he came to himself he said, 'How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough to spare, and I'm dying with hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.'

He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. (World English Bible, Luke 15:17-20)

Instead of the father being angry at his son, he rushes to him with opened arms and calls for a celebration of his lost son's return home. That is unconditional love. There is no greater love than a father who is compassionate and understanding. The father is beyond happy. His son was symbolically dead and now he is alive. The father calls for the servants to dress him in a fine robe and sandals. He puts a ring on the lost son's hand. The father has the fattened calf slaughtered for a "celebratory meal." Truly, the father receives his son with love and a warm reception. The father is rejoicing because he thought his son was dead. Now that he is alive, the father insists that the son is to be treated like royalty. After all, he is still the father's son.