Many are familiar with the classic parable of Jesus about the lost son who left his home with his inheritance to enjoy life on his own terms. The son squandered all his inheritance on wild living in a distant land and moreover, betrayed his family’s treasured values. In modern terms, the son gave his father and heritage the middle finger. The gravity of the situation is this, the demand for his inheritance was unthinkable, a heartless rejection of the family’s personal values and a grave insult to his nurturing father, family and community.
To add insult to injury, this new world that the son had embraced, also disregarded everything considered dear and holy back home. When the son eventually hit rock bottom, the new life he embraced forsook him. Thankfully, the wayward son came to his senses and humbled himself. He decided to return home to persuade his father to hire him as one of his servants.
And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.
The older brother was angry. But the father said … ‘We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’
– Luke 15:11-32
The analogy between the parable and our relationship with God is that sin is responsible for the broken relationship. However, it is salvaged by the endless love, compassion and mercy of a passionate Father. Like the father in the parable, God is not indifferent and stoic. He is not a god devoid of feelings! That conjecture is a product of our own imaginations. God seeks a relationship with us. He mourns the lost intimacy with his children. He also embraces His children’s emotional reality with its passions, pains and pleasures. He knows our inner most thoughts and struggles deeply.
We live in a world arrogant enough to question God’s love and authority. Contrary to popular belief, God is patient with us and not eager to outpour His wrath on mankind. Instead, He offers us redemption through belief in and following of Christ. God is eager to welcome his wayward children home with love, mercy and compassion when they repent of their sins and turn to Him.
Unfortunately, most people consider the Cross foolishness because it means admitting their sin and need for Jesus’s redemption. It means forsaking their limited human wisdom, philosophies and theories to ultimately, surrender to God. We cannot reason or earn our way to heaven. It is only the grace of the Cross that grants us eternal life with our just and merciful God.
Dear friend, the Truth of God stands forever.