The Reconciling Father
April 3, 2022
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So, he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. “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. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
Jesus is intentionally making God the father figure in this story.
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house? (Luke 2:49)
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
Sometimes Jesus would use the word “Abba”, when he prayed.
Nobody is prepared for the joy that parenting brings. And nobody is prepared for the pain that parenting brings.
There was the prodigal who strayed and there was one who stayed.
-Both boys resented their father’s authority.
-Both boys wanted their father’s things more than their father.
-Both boys saw their relationship with their father as something they had to earn.
“…make me like one of your hired men.” (Luke 15:19)
“All these years I’ve been slaving for you…” (Luke 15:29)
“There was a man who had two sons.” (Luke 15:11)
The father went out to reconcile with both of them.
But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it.’ (Luke 15:22-23)
For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. (Galatians 3:27)
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit… (Ephesians 1:13)
“…with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” (Ephesians 6:15)
“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So, his father went out and pleaded with him. (Luke 15:28)
“My son. You are always with me. Everything I have is yours.” (Luke 15:31)
Jesus is not a Pharisee about Pharisees; he is not self-righteous about self-righteousness.
Both boys lived life saying, “I want this…”, while the dad said to both boys, “But I want you.”
I’m absolutely convinced that nothing – nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable – absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. (Romans 8:38-39 MSG)
Look at that word “us”. Can you put your name there? “absolutely nothing can get between _____ and God’s love.
“Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)
“God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses…” (2 Corinthians 5:19 ASV).
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father. So, you are no longer a slave, but God’s child.” (Galatians 4:6-7)