And he said, A certain man had two sons:…
The latter is a free agent, and must needs be treated as such. If he will have the management of his own affairs, why he must just have it. Doubtless there would be many unreported conversations between the father and the youth before he consented to give him his portion. He would often lay his hand affectionately on his son's shoulder and remonstrate with him. He would beseech him to remain at home and keep him company. Perhaps he would say, "Now that your mother is dead and gone, my heart doats upon you; for you resemble her much." But no; the selfish youth would have his own portion, and set up a separate establishment. In like manner, if men will set up and set off for themselves, the Lord does not absolutely deny them their wish, although He yields reluctantly and after long expostulation. And the Divine Spirit still mournfully hovers near, saying, "Turn ye, turn ye; for why will ye die?"
(F. Ferguson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said, A certain man had two sons: