Text: Luke 15.11-32 (Read it here)
“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”
(Luke 15.31-32, NIV)
Author: Rob Anderson
There are a lot of ways my children can address me. Some of the names are more reverent than others, but all of the above and more fit. I will be honest, however, there is one that gets my attention more than others.
Garrison Keillor once said:
The father of a daughter is nothing but a high-class hostage. A father turns a stony face to his sons, berates them, shakes his antlers, paws the ground, snorts, runs them off into the underbrush, but when his daughter puts her arm over his shoulder and says, ‘Daddy, I need to ask you something,’ he is a pat of butter in a hot frying pan.
It’s true. My daughter can simply say “Daddy” and my whole outlook changes. My daughter has interrupted me during more than one meeting, yet there has never been a time when the meeting was more important than what she had to say.
When Jesus came to earth, rather than avoiding saying the name of Jesus, which was customary in his day, he spoke of a relationship with his father that fit more with a “daddy” than “your most holy highness.” That’s not to say that Jesus did not respect his father or that his father was not worthy of all honor, glory, and praise (See Revelation 4.11, for example). That is also not to say that our relationship with God should be taken lightly. However, our Father in heaven, much like the father of the story of the prodigal son, is a God who longs for us to come to him and know him.
He is not distant from us. No, he is looking for us to run to him, arms outstretched, calling his name.
See also: Matthew 5.43-48; John 10.25-30
How do you think you would have reacted to the “prodigal son” had you been his father? Was there anything in this story that might have caused you to see him in a favorable light?
How did the older son misunderstand his father? In what ways have you found yourself acting in similar ways to this son?
In what ways have you found God to be a loving, caring Father? How have the moments come about and have you always felt this way about God? How can you share this understanding of God with others, to that they too will have a good awareness of his nature?