“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
How many of us were saved as a child but then strayed far away from God? I did. The parable of the lost son tells of a child who wanted and received his portion of his fathers goods, went and lived high on the hog for a while but then ended up a servant feeding the hogs while he was starving to death. Finally the lost son decided he would go back to his father’s house and ask to be a servant there since he had plundered his portion of his inheritance. When his father saw him, he rejoiced and said to his servants “‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.” Luke 15:22. Of course his brother was jealous. His brother was like some are today, jealous when a sinner is blessed because they came to repentance. Instead of rejoicing with his father, the brother was offended because his father was so happy. What heartbreak this must have been for the father. He finally has both sons home and now the other is causing him pain. How much more joy the father would have had if the other son would have rejoiced with him.
In the Bible there is also the parables of the lost sheep and the lost silver coin. In both of these parables the shepherd and the lady who lost the coin search desperately for what they had lost. Both were diligent and persistent until the sheep and coin are found. Once found, they rejoice. Luke 15:4-9
The underlying difference in the latter two parables and the prodigal son tells a story as well. The sheep and the coin did not have the moral aptitude, the capability, of making a choice and the prodigal son was a responsible agent; he willingly left his father’s home by his own free will. The sheep and the coin were diligently sought after until found. The prodigal son was mourned but not purposefully sought for when found.
However, all were joyfully received when found – praise God! There are many prodigal sons and daughters in this world today. I was, by all means, one of them. I too shamefully plundered God’s grace and blessings. I too went humbly crawling back to the Cross just wanting to be a servant just so God would throw me a bone every now and then for I did not deserve a crown. After all, look at all the people who had served the Lord their entire lives – they were worthy, not me! I had taken his riches, claimed His glory and proudly sat on my throne of self righteousness. Well, let’s just say the Lord has a way of tapping on your shoulder and saying “excuse me, that would be mine”. So when I finally realized my arrogance toward the Lord, this prodigal child couldn’t get back to the Cross quick enough! But instead of shame, I only received more of His grace. As a prodigal child I was not counted an enemy to God, as the devil would like to have made me believe, but instead an enemy to myself.
The only instance of God running is in the parable of the lost son when the father “ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” Luke 15:20. God rejoices at every lost soul that returns home. The Lord will run and meet you at the Cross. He is calling the prodigal sons and daughters back home to go out and diligently seek His sheep and to rejoice with Him when they are found. – Donna Warren