So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. Luke 15:20-21
When my big brother moved out of the house after high school, he moved 4 and a half hours away from our family's house, and I missed him. Whenever he came to visit my family and me, He always left after work and got to us late in the evening. I always stayed up late, well past midnight, to see him right when he arrived. There is something about coming home, isn't there? There is something about waiting for the people we love to come home, too. On a much greater scale, did you know that the Bible teaches that God is also waiting for people to turn back to Him and come home to Him?
Jesus tells a story in Luke 15 of a very special homecoming. A father in this story had two sons, the youngest of which begged for his Father's inheritance early and completely wasted it away. He had greatly offended and sinned against his father. Eventually, he was starving and out of money, so he decided to return home. He did not expect his father to take him back as a son after what he had done, but he hoped his father would take him in as a servant. He had an entire speech prepared for His dad. He would go to him and say, "Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant." (verses 18-19).
Something incredible happens in this story as the younger son makes his way home. Before he could even ask his dad to take him as a servant and before he even made it to his dad's house, his dad saw him. He had been looking for his son. Not only did he see the son, but when he saw the son, he ran toward him. This may not sound like a big deal to you, but it was unheard of for a Middle-Eastern nobleman to run. It was completely undignified for the father to run, yet that is exactly what he did. The son could not even make it completely through the speech he prepared, begging for his father to take him back as a servant. Instead, the father restored their relationship completely and threw a party to celebrate his son's return. Because he loved his son, the father welcomed him home. The son was not only accepted but he was also valued as the son of this father.
Because we know that this story held a deeper meaning, we must ask ourselves about the meaning behind this story. In this story, the Father represents God the Father. The son in this story represents us. We have all done things to disobey God and break His heart. We have thrown our lives away, giving in to sin and disobedience toward God. This story teaches us that God, like the father in this story, has the right to punish or abandon us because of our sin but chooses love, forgiveness, and restoration instead. He is simply waiting on us to turn back to Him. He loves us so much.
Have you ever found yourself like the prodigal son, caught up in living selfishly, only concerned for yourself? Then, my friend, it's time to turn back to God, your loving Heavenly Father. He's waiting for you to turn back to Him.
Write a prayer of thanksgiving to God today. Thank Him for everything He has done for you, especially how He is a God waiting for His people, including you, to come home. Thank Him for the love, patience, and kindness He exhibits towards His people every day.
Luke 15:20-24 (NLT)
“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’
“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
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