“And he said, "There was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.' And he divided his property between them.” Luke 15:11-12 ESV https://www.bible.com/59/luk.15.11-12.esv
I am enjoying re-reading Timothy Keller’s Prodigal God. ( Here is a Keller sermon brief which is somewhat of a synopsis of the points Keller makes in the book.) Despite absorbing such profound thinking by Keller, and some casting about online for the thoughts of other great thinkers, I remain perplexed by the imagery in Luke 15:11,12, specifically, the younger son’s demand for his inheritance.
Taken in the context of the beginning of Luke 15,
“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."” Luke 15:1-2 ESV https://www.bible.com/59/luk.15.1-2.esv
...most sources have the person of the younger (“prodigal”) son symbolizing the tax collectors and sinners that Jesus is dining with, to the shock and anger of the Pharisees and scribes, who are symbolized by the older son. I can see how the father’s immediate response to the younger son’s demand is a symbol of the ready mercy and grace that Jesus is extending to those who are outside of the religious elite of the day, in actuality whom He is dining with even as He is telling the triad of parables.
But I’m stuck on the way the younger son unapologetically demands his inheritance early. (My guess is that it is a sort of literary device that serves to show God’s unflinching willingness to honor our free will, even when what we decide is self-destructive? That our willfulness can separate us from Him?)
What does the Hermaneutics Stack say specifically about the younger son’s demand?