I was reading today the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son in Luke 15. It is such a comfort for all of us who are sinful by nature. It is just now that I have realized how much these parables, especially of the prodigal son, show God’s great love for us. I believe that when Jesus told this story, He was actually feeling the love for those who He was referring to–tax collectors, adulterers and thieves.
In all reality, if we were in the shoes (or sandals in this instance) of the “righteous” older brother mentioned in the latter part of the story, would probably have felt and said the same thing. Honestly. Its hard to feel great for someone who already squandered half of your father’s estate right? Admit it, its hard–really hard.
As we realize how hard it is, recognize also how God’s grace and mercy is sooo abundant, that He can only think about YOU (and me) coming back to Him with a humble and repentant heart. Note also how there is no hint of resentment in the father’s voice. It was all joy and celebration. The prodigal did not even finish what he wanted to say to his father. If I was the father and how I act right now with my eldest son, I would be reminding him of what he had done. But no, this father, our Father in heaven, has only rejoicing in His heart. No bitterness or hate or regret. It was pure joy. It was all love. Shouldn’t we feel the same?
Don’t regret that your evil sibling that picks on you 24 hours a day came to the Lord. God loves him too. Or that high school bully who dumps you in the toilet. God loves him too! Rejoice with the angels in heaven if he had given his life to Jesus too. Let us be careful not to be so self-righteous that we would hinder “these little ones” to come to Jesus.
How about you? Have you returned to your Father? Have you given Him great joy and filled heaven with the angels’ applause? Don’t wait for the famine to make you realize that you need to come back to Him. May God richly bless you!