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)

Although the parable of the prodigal son is well known, there is an aspect of this story that is often overlooked. Yet it is the turning point of the story, the reason why it had a happy ending. Jesus says the prodigal son came to himself. This event is a destiny-changing moment of utmost importance. 

In today’s language, the prodigal son coming to himself means the light bulbs went on in his head. He suddenly realized he could do something to end his misery immediately. His eyes opened. Suddenly, he could see that he had been a fool, that there was still hope, and most importantly, that he could stop his unnecessary suffering. This eye-opening, light-bulb moment is a destiny-changing situation for anyone.

Coming to himself implies the prodigal son was not himself. He had believed lies, accepted wrong ideas, and convinced himself to believe what he thought would make him happy—money, riotous living, women, partying, etc. He certainly had a heated argument with his father, who attempted to caution him because he was not himself. Bad friends, ideas, philosophies, thoughts, feelings, etc., controlled him.

When he came to himself, when his mind cleared from the fogginess of his foolishness, he acted immediately to correct his folly. Although he initially behaved badly, there was something remarkable about this prodigal son: as soon as he came to himself, he acted quickly to end his unnecessary suffering.

When was the last time you felt like you were beside yourself, maybe disobeying God’s words because of something or someone you have believed? Or do you need to come back to yourself in that ungodly relationship, sinful behavior, or unbelieving state?

May the Lord help us all—He alone knows how many times we repeat the prodigal son’s story, even as His children.


What is your prodigal son or daughter story? Where are you in the prodigal journey? About to run away, in misery, coming to yourself or running back to the Father?

Apply the Word

Don’t delay. Whenever you come to yourself, act immediately and return to the Father.


Ask the Father to help prodigal sons and daughters to come to themselves wherever they are, including you.

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