As I wrote in my last article that most of us recognize the creator of heaven and earth as our Lord but we really find it difficult to look at him as our father. Many think that he must be some cruel father; who only knows to punish or destroy if we do not obey but the parable of the prodigal son has another element that reflects the true nature of our father in heaven.
One of the things that Jesus explained through the parable of the prodigal son found in Luke 15 is the loving and compassionate nature of our Heavenly Father.
His love gives us free will:
The younger son came to his father and said, ‘Father, don’t you think it’s time to give me the share of your estate that belongs to me?’ So the father went ahead and distributed among the two sons their inheritance. Shortly afterward, the younger son packed up all his belongings and traveled off to see the world. Luke 15:12,13
Many of us might think that “If he is a loving father, why did he allow his son to go to the path of destruction?”
When I read from the book of Genesis, God gave a commandment to Adam and Eve but he never made them prisoner. Instead, he gave them freedom. When we love someone, we set them free knowing that even if they go away, they will return. Love never makes someone slave.
Even in our own life, God guides us for everything. He always leads us into his path with his presence. He speaks to us but he gives us free will. Sometimes even our parents want us to go and learn the things but it does not mean that they do not love us if they are allowing us to do whatever we want to do. Love will never put anyone in bondages. They allow us to do certain things so that we can understand the things that are right for us.
Sometimes, it is through the prodigal path we understand that there is no safe place for us than to be in father’s arms and his will.
He is compassionate for us
So the young son set off for home. From a long distance away, his father saw him coming, dressed as a beggar, and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son who was returning home. So the father raced out to meet him. Luke 15:20
Jesus is the perfect reflection of our father’s heart. His love and compassion are so great for us that he chose to die the death even worse than a sinner. His heart swells up with compassion whenever he looks at us.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
I believe that the four books of the gospel are so perfectly written to speak to us about the love and compassion of Jesus Christ. He would go and feed the multitudes out of his love and compassion (Matthew 9:36). He would heal the sick (Matthew 9). He would weep with his friends for their pain and loss (John 11:35). His heart is so tender and breaks for the sons and daughters of most high God.
“Then the son said, ‘Father, I was wrong. I have sinned against you. I could never deserve to be called your son. Just let me be—’ “The father interrupted and said, ‘Son, you’re home now!’ Luke 15:21
These scriptures clearly speak to us about the love and compassion of our father. When the son starts apologizing for his mistakes, the father interrupts in the middle and says: SON YOU ARE HOME NOW.
When I read this, something that I could understand that father was so desperately waiting for his son to return since the time he left the home. It is like the father’s desire was fulfilled when he looked at his son returning. It is as if he is saying that nothing is more important to me than you being home. Your mistakes and errors are not important to me. Just come and be with me. Come and Rest with me. You don’t need to remember all that you went through, you are in right place now. I don’t remember what you did but all I know is that YOU ARE HOME NOW.
One thing that struck my mind is that the father had another son with him but nothing could take his younger son’s place. For him, both of them were equally important. It is the same with our heavenly father, for him we all are important. We all are apple of his eye. No matter where we have been, what we have done but for him, you matter as much as I matter. He has a place for each one of us. His joy can not be complete until he gets each one of us back to him.
Scripture says that he has thrown our sins into the seas of forgetfulness (Isaiah 43:25). He has forgiven each one of us through his son Jesus Christ. There is no sin that is so big now for which sacrifice of Jesus is not enough.
If you are reading this and maybe you have in mind that your sins are too big or you do not matter to God; God is calling out your name even right now as you are reading this. Hear the whispers of your name. He is desperately waiting for you. He has already forgiven you. Just reach out to him. He is smiling and saying to you: My Son, YOU ARE HOME NOW. My Daughter, YOU ARE HOME NOW.
There is a feast for each one who returns:
Just imagine that you love someone and there is nothing else important for you in front of that person. Suddenly you see them returning home. What joy will fill your heart? You will most probably start cooking the best things for them to eat, you will prepare the best and clean place for them to stay with you. You will bring everything best for them and all that they love.
The parable reflects the joy of our father in heaven when we return to him. He loves his children that he feasts with them. These verses mentioned below reflect the joy that fills the heavenly places when children of God return to him.
“Turning to his servants, the father said, ‘Quick, bring me the best robe, my very own robe, and I will place it on his shoulders. Bring the ring, the seal of sonship, and I will put it on his finger. And bring out the best shoes you can find for my son. Let’s prepare a great feast and celebrate. For this beloved son of mine was once dead, but now he’s alive again. Once he was lost, but now he is found!’ And everyone celebrated with overflowing joy. Luke 15:22-24
Maybe you are reading this and never knew about the Lord who is a compassionate and loving father and want to give your life to him; Read this prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I ask you to come into my heart and forgive my sins. I receive you as my savior who died and was resurrected for me. Come and do what you want to do in my life. I surrender my heart, mind, and soul to you. In Jesus name, Amen.
“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Heb. 13:20-21)