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A Father’s Love

The parable of the prodigal son is well known to many even those who may not be very familiar at all with the Bible have some idea about this parable told by Jesus. It is a beautiful parable filled with forgiveness, restoration, reconciliation, fresh starts and new beginnings. The story goes that a young man came to his father one day and asks for his inheritance early. In a very real sense he told his father “I don’t want to wait on you to die and I’m tired of being here so give me what your going to give me so I can go off on my own.” The father although broken hearted by this request allows the young man’s desires to be granted and he gives him his inheritance. After some time of living the high life in the fast lane the young man squandered all his money to the point he was destitute so he ended up doing what he didn’t want to do in the first place and that is work. However, this young man was working a hard disgusting job for hardly any pay at all feeding pigs. He had sunk so low that the Bible says, “He would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate.”

God gives us one of the most insightful looks into the human condition and a life of sin. In our selfish sinful ways we have gone to God our heavenly Father and told Him we want things our way, in our time on our terms and He says have at it. Only thing is we find out real quick that disaster awaits us. Gods word tells us that the young man upon receiving his inheritance “journeyed to a far country” and that is exactly what our sin does to us it takes us to places far away from God, places we would have never dreamed in a million years we would have ended up. God’s word then tells us that the young man “wasted his possessions with prodigal (or wasteful) living” and that’s exactly what our sin does to us. Our sin causes us to waste precious time, talents and treasures giving to us by God our Father. The young man then “joined himself to a citizen of that country”; truth of the matter is we all serve somebody! Question is who are you serving; yourself, some idol created by your own hands or another’s hands? Or are you serving the Lord? It is either one or the other but make no mistake about it you are serving someone, why not serve the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who died for you? Lastly this parable shows us where our sin eventually takes us as God’s word says, “no one gave him anything” and the reason no one gave him anything is because he no longer had anyone. Our sin drives the people we love away from us and our lying, deceiving and selfishness leads us down a path of isolation and loneliness. But, I love that God always provides a way out, a transition from the muck and mire of this fallen dark world into His marvelous light.

One day the young man comes to his senses and realizes that even his fathers servants have it better than he does and so he runs back home in hope his father would take him in as one of his servants only to be embraced by his father and have a grand party thrown for him for as he said of his son “he was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” Three things jump out at me, the forgiveness of the father, the love he showed in his embracing his lost son and the joy that he demonstrated upon his return. You know God gives us a beautiful glimpse into His love for us His wayward creation. When we come to realize who we are as sinners and seek God’s forgiveness He is there with open arms to receive us, to robe us in righteousness and to celebrate that which was dead now made alive! How amazing is that?

This is hand’s down one of my favorite passages in all of Scripture because it is so rich in truth and so deep in love. I do have one huge problem with this parable however…it’s name. It has been dubbed “The Parable of the Prodigal Son” I think it ought to be called “The Parable of the Loving Father” because at the heart of this parable, at the very root of this message, what far outweighs the sons disobedience and even the older sons outrage we read about later is the fathers love.

So if you find yourself  at the feeding trough of this broken world please know that you have a Father in heaven who loves you to the point of sending His Son to die for you on a cross and when you call out to Him He will respond with a loving embrace of forgiveness!