Our passage today is from Luke 15:11-32, often referred to as the story of the Prodigal Son. Most often the emphasis of this passage is placed on the prodigal. Today, I want to focus on the faithful father.
When his youngest son asked him for his share of the father’s estate that must have hurt him deeply. But when the young man liquidated his portion and took the money and left, headed to a faraway country, that had to have broken the father’s heart. In fact we are told that the father grieved his son’s absence as one would grieve a death.
I have a friend, a very committed Christian, who’s son was recently killed in an accident. She is absolutely devastated. Everyday her thoughts are filled with nothing except her son and the realization she will never see him again this side of heaven. She has told me that there could not be a more intense pain than that of a parent that has lost their child to death.
The Scriptures do not tell us how long the young man was gone, but I believe in the context of what Jesus was wanting to convey to the crowd that it was a considerable amount of time. The intent is that the faithful father never gave up on his son.
Within culture of first century Judaism the father should have written the boy off. The boy not only shamed his father by asking for what he did, he magnified his shame with his sinful living. But the faithful father was ready to fully receive the young man back into the family.
This passage reminds me of a song written by Mike Payne and Ronny Hinson, “When He was on the cross, that I was on His mind.” One of the lines of this song says “He knew me, yet he loved me.” Christ knew every sinful and ugly thing I would ever do, and He still loved me enough that He died for me.
Remember this, John said “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God, the Faithful Father knows everything about you and loved you enough to send His Son to die for you. Come home.