A College Age Interpretation of the Prodigal Son, Luke 15


On Monday night I asked the students of Belmont Wesley to look with fresh eyes at the story of the Prodigal Son. For well over an hour, with energy and laughter, they worked verse by verse to craft a story about the Prodigal Son from Luke 15 including Jacob (father), Stephen (Prodigal Son), and Edward (brother). I invite you to look with fresh eyes at a familiar story of scripture and glimpse God’s grace.


Jacob had two sons, Stephen and Edward. The three of them lived on a swanky horse farm in Williamson County, Tennessee. The farm was staffed by many hired hands. One day Stephen said he wasn’t about that farm life anymore. ‘I’m going to Vegas to make it big, win big money deuces!’ Jacob wanting to make his son happy gave him the cash money from his hedge fund. Stephen gathered his things and took the first flight out to Vegas. When he arrived he entered into a lifestyle of decadence and debauchery (gambling, ladies, and drag shows). After an undisclosed amount of time, Stephen found himself living on the gang-infested streets, broke. Discouraged, strung out, depressed, hungry and alone, Stephen was void of emotional satisfaction. Stephen decided he needed to get a job other than hooking.

Deciding to go back to his roots, he attempted to get a job on a farm. After a longer undisclosed amount of time, he was dumpster diving still feeling the above mentioned emotions. ‘How many of my father’s guys have cash money but I’m here dumpster diving. They have enough to eat with more to spare. I’ll go back to my father’s house and tell him I’m sorry for being an embarrassment to the family. If you don’t want me as a son, at least give me a job.’ So he hitched his way back to Nash-Vegas.

When Jacob saw him coming up the winding drive, he met him halfway on the tricked out golf cart. Stephen apologized and his father embraced him giving him a pair of gold plated, wing-tipped Prada loafers, a diamond studded, engraved, voice activated Rolex signed by Jay-Z, and a North Face temperature controlled jacket with a Burberry interior. On the way back to the house he called Emeril to fire up the grill for some steaks.

When Edward saw what was happening his face began to sparkle and shine bright like a diamond. He said, ‘Emeril, I though those steaks were for my wedding? Why are we cooking them tonight?’ ‘Steve’s back.’ ‘Who is Steve?’ ‘Your brother. He changed his name.’ Naturally Edward’s face remained the same unable to show the emotion commonly known as anger. He refused to go inside to the party marching right to his father and threw a temper tantrum.

Jacob said, ‘Son, Steve’s back. He’s not hooking anymore, not tweaking on meth, and finally becoming financially responsible. It’s party time, and good luck with Bella.’