What Are the Themes of the Prodigal Son?

Some of the themes of the Prodigal Son are greed, arrogance, jealousy, repentance, forgiveness and acceptance. This parable takes place in the Gospel of Luke, and it tells the story of a father who gives an inheritance to two sons, only for one to disappear and waste his inheritance, before returning to find his father’s forgiveness.

The Prodigal Son takes place in the Gospel of Luke, Luke 15:11-32. At the beginning of the story, an impatient son requests his half of his inheritance, despite his father still being alive. When he agrees, he leaves home and spends the money irresponsibly on lavish items. A famine and lack of funds forces him to work herding pigs while living an impoverished lifestyle. It is at this point that greed and regret emerge, as well as jealousy when he begins looking at the pigs and envying how they have food to eat but he does not.

At this point, the son chooses to return to his father to repent his sins and seek forgiveness. He acknowledges that he has behaved with greed, but his father forgives him and holds a celebration for his return, demonstrating compassion. It is at this point that jealousy emerges again, as the older son remained with his father without wasting his inheritance.