The Parable of the Good Father
“…BUT WHILE HE WAS STILL A LONG WAY OFF, HIS FATHER SAW HIM AND WAS
FILLED WITH COMPASSION FOR HIM; HE RAN TO HIS SON, THREW HIS ARMS
AROUND HIM AND KISSED HIM.”
I believe the Kingdom of God to be so beyond our thoughts that Jesus
had no need to embellish the parables. His figurative speech reflects
a truth that we could not understand, in terms we could grasp.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son as told by Jesus in Luke chapter 15
brings the plight of mankind to a personal level; one on one – father
One son does everything right, sticks by the father and works hard.
The other son is a rebellious dreamer so arrogant as to think he
deserves something better and so depraved as to sell his inheritance
for the lusts of the flesh.
The reason for Jesus telling this is to underscore the heart of God
for humanity. All of us are sinful without a doubt. If you are like
the older son and struggle with pride or resentment or jealousy, the
father will have patience with you and he makes a promise to the
faithful son; “Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine
is yours.” Your inheritance is fixed and complete.
But the rebellious younger son; what has he? He has a home, and a
father who will always love him. So great is the fathers love that he
does not simply make a place in the servants quarters and allow him to
eat leftovers. The father does not hold back and wait for the child to
grovel and beg and kiss his feet. In fact the father wants all to know
this wayward boy is his son, and so adorns him with a robe restoring
him to the position over the servants. He puts a ring on his finger,
more than likely the signet of his family and a sign of authority. And
sandals because a proper Jewish man covers his feet.
But deeper and more moving than all that is this - this father who
must have been waiting with hope for this day sees this young man a
long way off and you can almost feel the emotion welling up in the
father’s heart until he cannot contain himself and he runs to his
child, hugs and kisses him, and he really doesn’t care what has
happened only that he has returned.
God is like this or Jesus wouldn’t have put this in the story. For
every lost and rebellious sinner, depraved and miserable, God the
Father is waiting to receive you. He is watching the horizon with hope
of your return. And all you need do is humble yourself and know in
your heart that the way you are living was not what God made you for;
God has already created the path back to Him in Jesus Christ. You take
that one step to Jesus and the Father will run the rest of the way to
embrace you. He will clothe you like a child of His, give you the
authority of His name, and make a room back in His house just for you!
In these troubling times there is nothing more certain than this; that
God loves you and wants to save you for eternity, and Jesus has
provided the way. Come to Jesus just as you are and the Father will
take care of the rest.