This week has been tiring, trying, strange, vulnerable, confrontational, and empowering. I entered it apprehensive of its academic challenges and intellectual perplexity, yet I found that it offered a much greater lesson: How does one become Liberated from the complexity of themselves? Well, through the intensity of these days I have learned the answer comes only from by vulnerability, the compassion of GOD'S love and the empathy discovered once one has been broken thoroughly and died to self. That is Liberty!!
Wednesday, June 8, 2016
"And He said, There was a certain man who had two sons; And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the part of the property that falls [to me]. And he divided the estate between them. [Deut. 21:15-17.] And not many days after that, the younger son gathered up all that he had and journeyed into a distant country, and there he wasted his fortune in reckless and loose [from restraint] living. And when he had spent all he had, a mighty famine came upon that country, and he began to fall behind and be in want. So he went and forced (glued) himself upon one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed hogs. And he would gladly have fed on and filled his belly with the carob pods that the hogs were eating, but [they could not satisfy his hunger and] nobody gave him anything [better]. [Jer. 30:14.] Then when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father have enough food, and [even food] to spare, but I am perishing (dying) here of hunger! I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] make me like one of your hired servants. So he got up and came to his [own] father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity and tenderness [for him]; and he ran and embraced him and kissed him [fervently]. And the son said to him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son [I no longer deserve to be recognized as a son of yours]! But the father said to his bond servants, Bring quickly the best robe (the festive robe of honor) and put it on him; and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet. [Gen. 41:42; Zech. 3:4.] And bring out that [wheat-]fattened calf and kill it; and let us revel and feast and be happy and make merry, Because this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to revel and feast and make merry." Luke 15:11-24 AMP
In every forum in which I heard the parable of the prodigal son I have never heard anyone explain the heart of the father. I. This story, the third parable of three in Jesus Christ describes the characteristic of the Father, we find some similar elements; something lost, something alone, something found, something rejoiced and celebrated. In this story this 'something' is now identified as a son, one of two sons in particular.
In order to address and appreciate 'sonship', we must understand the heart of the Father. Here the father has been demanded of the younger so to give him his inheritance immediately; before the father's death. The father obliges the son; which according to Jewish law (then) was an absolute dishonor and a good reason to be banished. The son then leaves a few days later and 'journeys' to a distant country, there to spend all he had ignorantly and lavishly. He wasted the gifted inheritance in a foreign (unclean) place and found himself in dire need. The Bible says at that time a great famine came and the son, big found in want, tried to network or join himself with the owner of a farm of pigs. What a place to be, and only to be rejected and sent out to feed the pigs hungry and still in dire need. Not even did he get anything from the other servants...not even the pig slop could satisfy this young man. He was willing to sacrifice his culture, his belief, and his way just to get back on his feet again.
Meanwhile, the son's father, we may assume, was heart broken from his son's rebellion and rejection, yet we can also assume he never stopped loving his son. 1 Peter 4:8, tells us that True love; agape love; covers a multitude; plethora; of sins; offenses. I believe that a moral found here is that the father didn't need to send out a search party, nor did he himself leave to go find his son, as we saw in the previous two parables, but there was something given and hidden within the son by the father, that the father knew would bring all things back to js son's remembrance. Could it be that the father understood that this was the only way for his son to be purged of his wayward heart and experience the unfailing love of thefather? Could the father had known that "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:28-29?
The father held to no unforgiveness, nor did he allow the law of the land to determine his son's fate. By Jewish law his son should have been totally cut off from the nation, family and people. Banished and totally rejected forever, but grace and mercy had already pleaded the case and found this son justified by and through pure love!
Sons, turn back to your father's; and fathers turn back to your son's and embrace them today. For True love truly and totally covers a multitude of sins!