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.
Here is one of the best known of all Jesus’ stories. Its main character appears to be one of the most famous sons of all time – the Prodigal Son.
Yet the son is not the real point of the story. The Father is! It is the Heavenly Father’s love for all of His lost sons and daughters that Jesus wants to reveal.
The Teacher tells the story to a group of self-righteous religious people who were objecting to His friendship with sinners. He wants them to know that God is a loving Father who will welcome the worst sinner who returns to Him.
The older son in the story represents the very ones who were criticizing Jesus’ love for sinners. It is the older son who resents the welcome his father gives to his sinful brother.
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. 3Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. 4For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.
This is the heart of our God. Our Heavenly Father who gave His Son to make a way for all His children to come back home.