Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the property that will belong to me.’ So he divided his property between them. A few days later the younger son gathered all he had and traveled to a distant country, and there he squandered his property in dissolute living. (Luke 15: 11b – 13)
There is something within us that needs to rebel. God said to Adam and Eve, don’t eat of the fruit at the center of the garden, and suddenly that becomes for them the most desirable of all the fruit of the garden. The father in the parable, though assuredly wounded by his younger son’s rejection, seems nonetheless to accept his rebellion as, in some sense, the natural course of things. The father does not assume that the son is gone for good; he keeps an eye out for him, trusting that one day he will return. Notice also, the elder son whose rebellion is not expressed at the outset will be defiant of his father at the end.
What difference would it make in our lives to view the urge to rebel in ourselves and in those who we are connected to as being 1) inevitable, but 2) not eternal?