And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him (Lk. 15:20 KJV)
There is indeed a lot that could and has been said about the parable of the prodigal son. There were three characters in this parable–the prodigal son, the elder brother and the father. The parable has been called the “parable of the prodigal son” because he is the prominent character in the story. However, the principal message of this story is not the prodigality of this younger son. It is the father’s heart of love for his son.
Jesus’ primary intent of this story was to reveal to us the father’s response to a lost son. He has just spoken two similar parables about the lost sheep and lost the coin. The focus of those parables was not the sheep or coin which was lost but the response of the owner.
This parable shows us the loving and gracious heart of Father God for lost sinners as shown in the verse above. He longs for lost humanity to come back home. There is tremendous joy in heaven when the sinner turns away from sin and escapes eternal damnation in hell. The Father’s open heart of love did not change after we become His children. He still has an open heart of love for us in the midst of our most embarrassing failures. The assurance of His heart of love is the reason we should run to Him when we fail rather than away from Him.
What did the father of the prodigal son say to him when he returned? ( Luke 15:22). Does God ever feel overwhelmed and frustrated by our failures and weaknesses?
APPLY THE WORD
Whenever you fail, remember that the arms of the Father are open to welcome you home to full recovery and restoration. In failure, run to Him, and not away from Him.
Thank the Lord for His heart of love that is the healing balm of our brokenness.