Moving Out to Reach Out

Luke 15:20-22 New International Version (NIV)

God the father seeks the return of the lost

20 So he got up and went to his father.

“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.”

Mercy is not getting what we deserved. The father has the compassion to run and touch and embrace the lost sinner. The father has shown mercy to the son.

God the father forgives the sins of the lost

21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’”

22 “But the father 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.”

The elder son is indifferent and complaining, “look at the younger son and see why is he back?!” The elder son didn’t forgive the younger son and has no mercy for him. The elder son has always been in the family and the father’s company and has always obeyed the father. There is no opportunity to experience forgiveness and mercy from the father. The elder son is in too good shoes and wants all the wealth to himself.

That forgiveness and mercy the father showed towards the younger son probe us to forgive others. Today, I choose to forgive others for all the wrongs they’ve done because I’ve been forgiven by Jesus. Let us extend this compassion, move out to forgive others and experience the forgiveness and mercy of God, the father.

God the father reinstates the identity of the lost

22 “But the father 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.”

This is a mark of honor on the son. The ring is a symbol of wealth and authority and responsibility as a son who can make decisions for the family. Sandals can only be worn by sons of the house and not slaves. The father has shown sonship towards his son.

God is compassionate. God is merciful. God is love.

The opposite of love is not hate, but selfishness.

“Whether you’re the younger son or the older son, you have to realize that you’re called to become the father – look at the father in the painting and you will know who you are called to be.”

the return of the prodigal son

The Return of the Prodigal Son
Book by Henri Nouwen

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