Summary: The loving Father extends love, forgiveness and grace. Those who have erred, failed and fallen, needs our love and help.
I wish all fathers a blessed Father’s Day. God bless you.
• Since it is Father’s Day, I like to look at a parable Jesus shared regarding a loving father – Luke 15:11-32.
• Jesus uses this parable to describe the love of God, our heavenly Father.
Jesus tells us 3 parables in a row in this chapter, to tell us who God is like.
• Why did He do this? 15:1-3 explains.
• The Pharisees and the teachers of the law felt that Jesus should not ‘welcome sinners’, ought not to accept them.
• Good people and bad people don’t go together. Jesus wants them to know, God loves the world, everyone.
• Jesus gets near to them because sinners need help. In fact, all of them need help. Unfortunately they are self-righteous.
They don’t realise it. We are all sinners in need of God’s forgiveness and grace.
• God loves sinners. Jesus came with this purpose, to save sinners from their sin. Jesus says, "I have come to seek and save the lost."
• The sick will need a doctor. We all need God’s help. And that includes the Pharisees and teachers of the law.
• They don’t understand. They thought by doing good deeds, God will accept them. Eph 2:8 says we need God’s grace to be saved – cannot rely upon self, upon good works.
• They did not see this. In fact, many in our world today are not seeing this.
So Jesus shared with them 3 parables in a row, in chapter 15.
• All 3 talks about something that was LOST. The first is the lost sheep, then the lost coin and the lost son.
• They are all precious, but they are lost. The owner wants to get them back. He did not give up on them.
All 3 have the same theme – (1) there is value in that which is lost; (2) the Lord is seeking the lost, and longing to find it, and (3) there is joy in finding it.
• We want to see the value of the LOST, and the love of the OWNER.
(1) God treasures us - we are PRECIOUS in God’s sight
The father longs for the son to return home.
• Even though the son has done wrong, he was disrespectful, he has failed, he has spent his inheritance, and has ignored his father’s love, but the father’s attitude towards him did not change.
• The father’s love for him remains the same. We see the father waiting for his son’s return – 15:20 "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.
• To see him afar means he has been looking. He is waiting. His heart wasn’t at home, but with his lost son.
When he is afar off, the father saw him and could not even wait for him to reach the house. He ran to him.
• In contrast, the elder brother doesn’t even know his brother came home. He has to ask one of the servants.
• The father ran to him and embraced him. The son came back most likely dirty and smelly, having spent time with the pigs. Yet he embraced and kissed him.
• Two different hearts here – the father’s heart is one of love. The elder brother is one filled with envy and anger.
• The father’s heart has not changed – before he left home and now that he returned – he is still the loving father. The son’s behaviour did not change him; time did not change him.
God loves us in the same way, Jesus wants us to know. God loves us not because we have been doing many good works. It is because He is a loving Father.
• The Bible tells us we are sinners and He loves us. He longs for us to return. He hopes we would realise our mistakes soon, repent and return.
• We are precious in His eyes. This value has nothing to do with what we do. Whether you are good or bad, that value remains.
• We are made by Him and we belong to Him. He loves us. God is love.
The Prince of Wales once visited a hospital where 36 men were so wounded and maimed in fighting for England that they would never leave the hospital.
He went and talked with them, but there were only 29, and he asked about the other 7. They explained how they were so tragically disfigured they were omitted on purpose. He insisted on seeing them so he could thank them for their sacrifice.
Again, only 6 of the 7 were there, for the 7th could not see. He was blind, deaf, maimed beyond the likeness of a man, but the Prince insisted he be taken to this man. He turned white at the sight of this one who could not see or hear him, but he did not move away, but slowly stooped and kissed his face.