Monday, June 5, 2023
HomeSpiritualHis Father Cherished Him: A Reflection on the Prodigal Son

His Father Cherished Him: A Reflection on the Prodigal Son


This Sunday, the son sees the Father – He had no concept that his father liked him.

The terrible second got here: The Prodigal Son went and instructed his father that he had determined to go away. The rationale that he needed to go away his father’s family, and his father’s arms, was to fill the opening in his coronary heart that might not obtain a father’s embrace. On account of his selection, the son can be lower off from his father’s love and, discovering himself within the midst of a “nice vacancy,” he would nearly die. Like historical Israel earlier than him—and like us, the Church, after him—he was blind to his father’s eyes and deaf to his father’s voice. He wanted, instantly, to run to his father for the love he was searching for, the love that might deliver him again to life. 

Once we go away our heavenly Father, he reacts in the identical means as the daddy within the parable: He provides us a reminiscence of his kindness and awaits our return.

When the Prodigal Son left, the daddy was not indignant. Had the daddy chosen shouting and violence as an alternative of a present, the son wouldn’t have needed to return. Because it occurred, the son nonetheless got here to imagine the lie that his father wouldn’t take him again—that their relationship would by no means once more be what it as soon as was. At that second, the daddy needed his son to recollect how he had blessed him with an unlimited inheritance somewhat than changing into indignant when he left. Even when his son didn’t understand the total import of that present, the daddy hoped that his son’s coronary heart would fire up the reminiscence of the love and mercy that the daddy confirmed him in the mean time of his apparently ultimate rejection. The daddy hoped the son would acknowledge, in his intestine, My outdated man loves me. All this time, I had him fallacious. And the gorgeous a part of the story is, the son’s outdated man was proper.

What prompted the son’s rejection? Why wasn’t he capable of obtain his father’s love for him? The reply is that Prodigal Son had a illness that ran in his household. Like his older brother, he felt that he was liable for making himself lovable. The parable of the Prodigal Son shocks us into rejecting that age-old lie, which John corrected within the first century: “It isn’t that we’ve got liked God, brothers, however that he liked us.” (1 John 4:10) Clearly, the daddy’s love was by no means a query of what his son deserved: The daddy threw a banquet for his son instantly after listening to that he had squandered half his property! The daddy ignores the comment about “not deserving” to be known as a son and simply goes again to showering love on his son, restoring the sonship he had at all times had by placing a gown on his shoulders, a hoop on his finger, and sandals on his toes. The son had abused others after which abused himself by needlessly considering he was undesirable. Now he comes dwelling. The daddy races to satisfy his son and throws his arms round him, heedless solely of what the younger man has completed. You might be right here with me at all times, and I’m so glad you got here again, I think about the daddy whispers as he kisses him. I remembered you with such love, my son, and I at all times knew you’ll come dwelling.

The issue is that we simply don’t understand that we’re at all times with our beneficiant Father, and we are able to at all times come dwelling to his embrace. A few of us, just like the youthful son, is perhaps caught in a cycle of self-indulgence, disgrace, and self-pity once in a while. At these instances, our guilt is obvious and our drawback is solvable. We may give up feeding filthy pigs in a overseas land, swallow our delight and are available again dwelling. 

When delight takes root in an externally righteous particular person just like the prodigal son’s brother, nevertheless, it’s extra harmful and far more durable to do away with. This particular person sees others’ abuses—“He swallowed up your property with prostitutes!”—however can not see that he’s abusing himself. Whereas his brother fell into a lifetime of apparent sin and then was trapped by disgrace, the righteous elder son had at all times feared that he was not ok in his father’s eyes. He thought that as an alternative of seeing him as a son, his father noticed him as a “slave” (doulos). The concern of displeasing his “slave-master” father swept via the elder son’s life like a river present, compelling him onward to 1 good exercise after one other, at a tempo that just about choked him.

This frenzied tempo allowed the elder son to keep away from the truth that his trigger was hopeless: No slave would consider being made a son only for doing as he was instructed! At most, a slave may solely hope to flee extreme punishment.

However like a fish in water, the elder son by no means stopped to consider this nice and overwhelming concern. He had by no means lived exterior it.

Till the hurly-burly stopped and rage took over. The lull in exercise produced by the daddy’s occasion let free a wave of anger and a deep distrust that the elder son by no means knew was inside him. Whereas he was busy with good works, the son would have pointed to these works as proof that he liked his father.

Now he started to see the works as they actually have been: proof of his disbelief that the daddy liked him. 

The son activates his father now and vents his anger: “All these years I slaved for you and never as soon as did I disobey your orders, but you by no means gave me even a younger goat to feast on with my buddies!” Worry creeps in alongside the son’s anger, now that he has voiced this thought. The daddy might have the prospect to rewrite the son’s psychological story, revealing that he’s not an unworthy son slaving for a imply, ungenerous father. The son’s beliefs and his id might very properly have to vary. If he have been to befriend anybody at his father’s occasion, he may catch himself beginning to chortle, saying he’d by no means believed his father would throw this occasion for his household and buddies within the first place. However in hanging again from the feast, the elder son is taking himself a lot too severely, evaluating himself to his brother and telling off his father for welcoming him again.

This son, too, must swallow his delight and are available again dwelling.

If the story of the elder son is stirring one thing inside you, and your life is considered one of exercise and good works however little peace, get assist. The Father wishes far more for you: He needs you to return to a data of himself.

This information of himself the Father needs for you is the data that the E-book of Genesis lovingly tells of: “Adam knew his spouse Eve.” I think about our first mother and father standing simply transfixed, one with the opposite—every recognizing the opposite’s immense goodness, every unable to breathe due to the enormity of the present.

Due to our brokenness and our nearly determined have to be taught to wish, we frequently have an extended solution to go earlier than our relationship to the Father seems remotely prefer it did for Adam and Eve earlier than the Fall. Counselors and religious administrators have offered indispensable assist to me in making my very own journey, as have religious mentors and discipleship teams. The Father prepares a means—at all times!—for Jesus to return into our lives and reveal the Father’s coronary heart.

You’re a son or daughter after the Father’s coronary heart. I hope that studying this reflection has helped you uncover not less than a method that the Father, seeing you, is perhaps eager to reveal himself extra totally to you, via the ministry or presence of one other particular person. By means of this ministry and thru prayer, might you be launched from any resentments or missed expectations that is perhaps preserving you from the Father’s coronary heart. Might the Father, as an alternative, offer you to know who he actually is: the one who seems on you with loving amazement and provides you every little thing he has in Christ.

Might you hear the therapeutic phrases, “My son or daughter, you’re right here with me at all times; every little thing I’ve is yours!”

Picture credit score: de:Otto Mengelberg (1817-1890), Public area, through Wikimedia Commons


Victoria Joy
I am an independent lady, working hard to share my ideas from my experiences to the whole world. I want people to be happier and to understand that your life is very very important. Walk with me and experience the beauty this world can offer by following simple logical steps.


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