#DailyDevotion Jesus, The Wasteful Father
Luk 15:12-13 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. (13) Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living… 15:17-20 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! (18) I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. (19) I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ (20) And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him… 15:23-24 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. (24) For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate
Ok, so I left out some details. You can read the whole thing in your bible. But these are some of the significant verses. So what do we have here? We have a son who in effect says, “Father I want you to be dead.” He wants his share of the inheritance before his father is even dead. Apparently this was a possibility in the culture back then. And while the son is the one who wants the father dead, it is the son that day that died. Before we are born again of the Spirit we are all dead in trespasses and sins. Also, when we have sinned against God and turned away from his life and his light by rejecting his will for us in our lives and living contrary to it, i.e. breaking the commandments, the Holy Spirit leaves us and we die spiritually. We may have been Christian but now we are have joined the dead of the world.
Well the younger son, who is dead, his circumstances bring him to a point of enlightenment. He realizes that his father’s servants are living better than him. He concocts an idea that he could go back to his father, confess he sinned against him and beg to be a servant in his household. Well, probably many times we have come to our Father in similar fashion with our tail between our legs. We come to God and say, “I swear if you get me out of this mess I’ll never do that again!”
Now look what the father does. He shames himself, running to his son. He had been watching for him to return. He wanted him to return. He felt compassion for his son who wanted him dead. He embraced him and kissed him. He killed the fattened calf and had a celebration. Jesus is this way when we come to him with our tail between our legs. We may try to tell him all sorts of ways we’ll make it up to him, but he really isn’t interested in all that. He just wants us back. Jesus himself bore our shame on the cross, for the joy of receiving us back into his good graces. Paul says, Rom 9:33 “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.” Faith in Jesus is all he wants. Everything else will follow. The older brother is the one who wants to put his brother to shame. He wants conditions set on a proper repentance before he can be accepted back, if he is accepted back at all. He will not rejoice with his Father. He does not understand he has everything by grace. His mind is only focused on what he does. He does not believe his Father has been gracious to him. Do you believe God your Father has been gracious to you all this time? Do you understand want he wants most from you is your trust in his grace?
Heavenly Father, grant us hearts that are always repentant and trust in Christ so that we too may rejoice with you when others repent and trust in your mercy. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.