Friday, June 11, 2010

The Prodigal's Father

We’ve looked at the Prodigal and at his brother, but we really do need to take a serious look at his father. The parables just ahead of this one in Luke 15 speak of lost items being found and their owner’s sharing their joy of the finding. The sheep and the silver were found by the shepherd and the woman after a time of searching.

The Prodigal’s story is different. The father did not make any attempt to stop his son, but divided the inheritance and gave the boy as he asked.

And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. [Luke 15:12 KJV]

His living. A landowner’s wealth is not readily available. Obviously the boy did not take any land, nor livestock when he departed, so it must have been sold. The Bible doesn’t tell us whether it was sold by his father or sold by the young man.

And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. [Luke 15:13 KJV]

There is no mention of his father as the story away from home is told. He didn’t send a servant with his son. He didn’t send messengers to his son. He didn’t tell his son that he was missed, that there would always be a place for him.

I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father did. In the beginning, He walked with His children.

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. [Genesis 3:8 KJV]

He sent messengers to the world in all times.

And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth. [1 Samuel 3:10 KJV]

He saw to it that there were standing invitations.

But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. [Deuteronomy 4:29 KJV]

Eventually, He came to walk with His children again.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [John 1:1 KJV]

Because He loved us.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. [John 3:16 KJV]

And welcomes us home, as did the Prodigal’s father.

In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. [John 14:2 KJV]

The Prodigal returns to a loving, forgiving father, and the same opportunity is afforded to us.

And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. [Luke 15:20 KJV]

The question resonates with me.

How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; [Hebrews 2:3 KJV]

(Wikipedia Commons: The Return of the Prodigal Son (1886-94)
from the series The Life of Christ by James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)