Of all the parables I have studied over the years, the `Parable of the Lost Son’ in Luke 15 has got to be my favourite. It is taught on every Ellel Healing Retreat and often preached in churches, especially when trying to portray the loving and forgiving heart of our Heavenly Father. Rightfully or wrongfully, I have renamed this famous parable and called it ‘The God Who Runs’. “Why would I do that?”, you may ask. Let me explain but first. Allow me to set the scene.
In context, before Jesus starts telling this parable, we read that the tax collectors and sinners were flocking to Jesus. The religious leaders of the day were not rejoicing about this but rather were indignantly complaining (Luke 15:1-2). They were basically saying, “Not only do these people (these misfits and morally corrupt individuals) have the audacity to draw near to Jesus, but shock upon shock, He actually welcomes them warmly and eats with them”. Why was this such a big deal to them? The reason is because these same religious leaders would not be seen in the company of such despicable people and Jesus was acting contrary to the way they expected Him to act. Instead of confronting these religious leaders head on, Jesus disarms them by telling first a parable of a lost sheep, the lost coin and finally, the parable of the ‘Lost Son.’ Or what I prefer to call ‘The God Who Runs.’
By telling this parable, Jesus was revealing to His listeners what His Heavenly Father was really like. He wasn’t like these self-righteous Pharisees and Scribes but rather was a God who ran towards and welcomed and forgave repentant sinners. He was the God who wanted to know them intimately as Father, no matter how horrifically they had sinned and broken His heart. Are you feeling the heartbeat of our Heavenly Father in this parable yet? This is the God who we should be representing to a lost and dying world.
I wonder do you see your Heavenly Father in this light. Do you believe this is His heart towards you or do you have another imagined in your mind right now? If the latter, then God wants to reveal the truth to you today. Will you let him?
Prayer: Father God, where my image of You is cracked and gives an untrue reflection, please show me the truth of who You are. Thank You that You are for me and not against me. Thank You that You are gracious and forgiving and embracing. Amen.
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