” ‘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’ ” (Luke 15:20 b).
I don’t think I will ever fully understand the love and grace of God towards me!
Jesus threw a lot of shade! I think Luke 15:11-32 is an example. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were singing the same old song of how Jesus “welcomes” (Luke 15:2) the undesirables of society, and this story was one of three Jesus used to answer their complaint.
The Prodigal Son. This must be a Sunday School favorite. Before tonight, I had concluded that the younger son was crazy and stupid, that the father was even more crazy and stupid, and that the older son was the only sane one, but he was also crazy and stupid for being unforgiving. After rereading this parable, the Holy Spirit allowed me to see that the father, though illogical, is God, my Father, waiting, eager for my return to Him.
Verse 20 really caught my attention: the father was always waiting for his son; he still remembered what his son looked like, enough to recognize him from a long distance away; he still cared enough about the undeserving son to break social norms by running towards him; he still loved him enough to have compassion, which out-poured into action when he hugged him and kissed him. This father was so eager to welcome back the son who pretty much told him he was dead when he asked for his inheritance (Luke 15:12) that he didn’t want him to think that he is a son by worth– and the truth is that we are not worthy of His GRACE! Pastor Judah Smith said in a sermon about this passage, and paraphrasing here, that we are children by birth, not by worth.
Isn’t it amazing that we have a Father who wants us? Do we understand that this father did not need his son? But, he wanted his son back! He was eager to embrace his son, kiss him, and reinstate him– this is why God sent Jesus into the world, so that we can be reinstated as His children! How awesome is that?!
To be honest, this section now has me confused and a bit emotional because I am that younger son, and I will never understand why my Father wants me– why is He reaching out for/to me?!?! I don’t know. But I know that He does want me.
So, if you think you’re the worst, and that God cannot possibly want you, think again. He is eagerly waiting for you to just turn your face towards Him, and He will come running towards you! He wants to celebrate you because He loves you.
Won’t you turn to Him today, friend? You won’t understand why He wants you, but just accept that He does. And, friend, it’ll be the best decision you will ever make!