“Father, I have sinned.” Lk 15:18 NIV
The Prodigal Son’s story begins like this: “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…the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and…squandered his wealth in wild living” (vv. 11-13 NIV). This young man’s sin was bad, really bad! In a Middle Eastern patriarchal society the disrespect he demonstrated toward his father is beyond what most of us can relate to. As the younger son he was entitled to a third of the family estate, but only after his father’s death. So in a sense he was sending a message to his dad, saying, “I wish you were dead.” If you think that’s shocking, his father’s response of love and grace is even more shocking. And if you’ve failed God badly, it’ll come as a real encouragement to you. When his boy came back home—broke, busted, and disgusted—the Bible says, “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” (v. 20 NIV). In that culture fathers never ran. A proud patriarch would never hitch up his garments, bare his legs, and run—ever! The point Jesus wanted to make is this: The moment you turn around and come back to God, He will run to meet you with open arms, forgive your sin, and restore you to your rightful place in His family. So, come today!