|This amazing story makes sense, wherever the "home"|
How many times have we looked at this incredible story told by our Master and asked, "Which of the two brothers are you? Which one of the brothers am I?"
I think explanations along these lines are wrong. Is there more than just a touch of both brothers in each of us? Have we not each gone our own way - going far from the Father's house, like the younger brother, finding our ways lead to little more than "husks offered to swine"? And, have we not acted in self-righteousness, upset that the Father is so generous towards those have been 'lost'?
It's not the 'prodigal son' that we are to compare ourselves to! It's the 'Prodigal Father'. We are 'lost' and need the rejoicing of a great party to welcome us home.
What words characterize the Father in Luke's story? Here are a few words describing the matchless character of the Father: compassion, forgiveness, unconditional love, welcoming, peace making, patience, happy to see the 'lost son' returning to his home. The overwhelming sense of generosity takes our breath away.
The Father runs toward his returning son, and as his been pointed out by Bailey, no man in the Middle East picks up his garment to run. The Father is not ashamed to run towards the son who is coming home. Jesus was not ashamed to sit with publicans and sinners, implying that he must have been seen at a bar or a pub, or someplace where many lost people were gathered.
The Father can't wait to celebrate. He is the one who wants to rescue the son, find the lost coing, search for the lost sheep - without consideration for his own comfort.
Now, the question comes to us: Having seen the Father in the Son, are we pressing forward towards the likeness of the Father?
Matthew 5:48 "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." Wow!