Jesus went on to say, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of your property now’. After the father tried to persuade his son not to claim his inheritance now, the father eventually relented and agreed to divide his property and gave his younger son his portion of the inheritance. A few days later, the younger son sold all his property, took the money and went to a far off country. There he spent all his money on reckless living. He spent everything he had. At that time a severe famine spread over that land and he was left without a thing. So he went looking for work and found employment with one of the citizens of that country, who sent him out to his farm to take care of his pigs.
He was so hungry that he wished he could feed himself on some of the bean pods the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything to eat. At last he came to his senses and said, “My father’s servants have more food than they can eat and here I am about to starve. I will go back to him and say: ‘Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son. Treat me as one of your workers;”. So, the next day, he got up and started back to his father.
He was still along way from the house when his father saw him. His father was filled with love and compassion and he ran towards him and embraced him. ‘Father’, the son said, ‘I have sinned against God and against you.I am no longer fit to be called your son’. But the father interrupted him and quickly called one of his servants and ordered him to bring a clean robe, a ring and sandals and to dress his son, and then go on to slaughter the fattest calf in the kraal, for they have to celebrate, because this son of his who was lost, has now been found. He was dead, and now he is alive. So they began to celebrate.
In the meantime, the elder son was out in the fields with work. When he returned, he heard the music and dancing coming from the house. So he asked one of the servants as to what was going on. The servant told him that his younger brother had returned home safe and his father had killed the prize calf so that they can celebrate his safe return. The elder brother was so angry that he even refused to go inside the house. When his father saw this, he went outside and asked him to come inside. The elder brother answered his father, ‘Look, all these years I worked for you like a slave, and I have always obeyed your orders. In all those years, what have you given me? Not even a goat that I can celebrate with my friends. Now that this prodigal son of yours has returned, after spending all your property with prostitutes, what do you do? You kill the prize calf for him.’
His father replied, ‘My son, you are always here with me and everything I have belongs to you. But we had to celebrate and be happy, because your brother was dead and now he is alive. He was lost and now he has been found’.
THIS STORY, which is found in Luke 15:11-32, relates our relationship with God. Even though we always rebel against Him, refuse to listen and to obey Him, causing Him heartbreaks, God is always filled with love and mercy whenever we return to Him. The angels in Heaven are always celebrating whenever one sinner turn away from his wasteful living and return to God. I am going to tell you a secret that you have to promise to keep. Don’t tell anyone else because by telling you, I am breaking my promise to God. But this is something that I have to tell you. I think that this is the right place to disclose that secret which is only reserved for Heavenly beings and to a select few on this planet. THAT secret is that, God has a ‘problem’. The problem is that He has too much Love and Compassion that He has to give it away continuously. SOMETIMES We deserve that love and compassion as we have earned it by being obedient and good to Him. At other times we don’t deserve it because we have been bad and disobedient AND yet, we still receive it. AND EVERYTIME when He sees any of His creations suffering, His heart is filled with love, kindness and compassion again which He FREELY gives away. It is His NATURE to LOVE, to be KIND and to feel COMPASSION. In this parable, Jesus reveals that secret about the nature of GOD the FATHER.
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