Other fathers around the world today use Jersey spendthrift trusts so as to stop this happening. Two thousand years ago Jesus told the story – as a parallel – of a father who knew that his younger son was a spendthrift.
Despite everything, this father’s nature and character was to give. He did not hesitate to give half of his property to that younger son.
The inevitable happened. But the question arises – what is the meaning of this parallel? Was Jesus trying to say that His Father in heaven is like that father in the story? Is God above truly a giving God? Giving even if his property is going to be squandered – by his own child - in reckless living?
But why? Why would God Almighty – the giver of all of the created world, the maker of the universe, the giver of all multiplying plant life (whatever that life may actually be; scientists don’t know and can only describe it and not create it), the giver of animal life (ditto), the giver of human life (ditto) – give it all to human beings, knowing that we would spend, gamble and abuse it all?
To answer that, we need to know how the parallel story continued – “And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’ And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.