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Luke 15:11–31 ‘While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion…’ (v20)

What a great picture this parable paints of who God really is! The son leaves home, effectively wishes his father dead by taking his portion of the inheritance, throws his money away on wild living and fickle friends, then the wealth runs out and so do his options.

He’s feeding pigs, and thinking fondly of home. His father’s servants fare better than he does right now.

So he practises his little speech about how sorry he is, and how he wants to become a servant in his father’s house. That is infinitely preferable to life as it is for him right now.

He comes home, and we see the compassion of the waiting father. He runs to his son, defying all the cultural dignity his position would afford, and stopping any potential harm coming to the boy who so disrespected his dad.

The son gets the ‘sorry’ part of his no doubt well-rehearsed speech out of his mouth, but the offer of servanthood – well, he doesn’t have time to say that bit!

His father is restoring all his rights and privileges. And there’s going to be a party! The older brother is sour about it.

He’s been ‘slaving’ (v29) for his dad, as he sees it, and yet seems to miss the fact that he’s had everything all along.

God’s kingdom isn’t a kingdom of works; it’s not about what we can do to earn His favour. When we come to Christ, we become sons and daughters of the King.

Family! How exciting to know that He is always ready to welcome us home, whoever we are, and however far we might have strayed from Him.

If you want to dig deeper into the story of the Prodigal Son then consider the Cover to Cover study guide on the subject.


A Prayer To Make:
‘Compassionate Father, please forgive me when I wander away from Your presence. Help me to stay close to You. Reveal Yourself more to me today, I pray. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Imagine yourself in the younger son’s shoes. The Father is running towards you! What is it like to receive such an amazing welcome?

Scripture To Consider:
2 Kgs 23:1–25; Ps. 34:1–20; Rom. 8:14–27; Eph. 2:1–10

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Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.