The Prodigal Son Came to Himself 

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s to have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! (Luke 15:17 KJV)

The parable of the prodigal son is renowned, yet it encompasses an often-overlooked aspect pivotal to its narrative — the moment the prodigal son “came to himself.” This marks a crucial turning point, the catalyst for the story’s redemptive conclusion. When Jesus narrates that the son came to himself, it signifies a profound, life-altering realization.

In modern terms, this is akin to having an ‘aha’ moment, an epiphany that spurred the prodigal son into immediate action. His realization was twofold: recognizing his folly and acknowledging that a path to redemption lay within his grasp. This moment of clarity of thinking, where he sees the error of his ways, represents a transformative juncture for anyone.

The phrase “came to himself” suggests that, until that point, the son was living under some “delusions”—he was not himself. Seduced by falsehoods and ensnared in pursuits he believed would bring joy —wealth, indulgence, and hedonism — he was detached from his true self. His departure from home, likely following a dispute with his father, was a departure from his essence, driven by misguided desires and ill advice.

But when he came to himself, he wasted no time rectifying his sins and errors. Despite his prior misdeeds, his immediate action to alleviate his suffering underscores a significant trait: the capacity for swift, decisive change upon self-realizing one’s mistakes.

Reflect on any moments you might have felt disconnected from your essence, perhaps swayed by erroneous beliefs or actions contrary to God’s Word. Or consider whether now is the time for your return to self in areas of life where you’ve strayed.

There were several flaws in the prodigal son’s character, yet amidst these, a commendable quality stands out: his ability to acknowledge his missteps and promptly act to amend them. Unlike many who linger in their faults, engulfed by guilt and shame or rationalizing their wrongdoings, he chose a different path—he returned to his father. This decisive move away from error, without succumbing to self-justification or despair, is a trait worthy of emulation.

May the Lord grant us the wisdom to recognize and rectify our deviations, echoing the prodigal son’s journey back to righteousness.


Contemplate your life in the context of the prodigal son’s journey. Are you on the brink of departure, enduring hardship, awakening to realization, or en route back to the Father?

Apply The Word

Act without delay upon your moments of realization. Embark on your return to the Father forthwith.


Ask the Spirit to open the eyes of every prodigal son and daughter at this moment, granting them the courage to return to the Father unimpeded by shame, fear, or self-justification.

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