Lost And Found

Jun 5, 2024

And He said “there was a man who had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. But when he came to himself, he said, ‘I will arise and go to my father, and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”‘ While he was a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. His father rejoiced and called for a celebration, ‘For my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost and is found.

Now his older son was in the field, and as he drew near, he heard music and dancing, and asked a servant what these things meant. The older son was angry when he learned that the celebration was for his brother. And he lashed out at his father, ‘These many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat so that I might celebrate. But this son of yours devoured your property, and you killed the fatted calf for him!’ And the father replied, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.‘” Luke 15:11-32, The Parable Of The Prodigal Son, paraphrased.

There are many lessons in the Parable of The Prodigal Son (sometimes the Parable of Two Sons). It was (is) about God’s passion for seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10). It was about the hypocrisy of the Jewish religious leaders as portrayed by the prodigal’s older brother (Luke 15:25-30). It was about God’s desire for lost Israel to return to Him (Luke 15:31). But most of all it was about the love of God—the welcoming and unconditional love of God—as portrayed by the prodigal’s father. In this story, the prodigal son did everything wrong and nothing right. Yet his father heaped forgiveness and love upon the son when he returned home after coming to his senses. That is the true love of God. Unconditional chesed love (Note 1).

Note 1: Chesed, also hesed, (Hebrew), agape (Greek); unconditional extravagant love, the compulsion to give and to love without limit those who have no merit. Chesed is one of the attributes of God’s character, maybe the attribute since His love encompasses all His other attributes (God is love). Chesed love cannot be defined or experienced apart from the fullness of God’s character. It is a supernatural, multifaceted love that is only realized, practiced, and experienced through God. Although not the same as human love, it can be experienced by humans (Jonathan and David, 1 Samuel 18:3; Ruth and Boaz, Ruth 3:10). God’s chesed love is why God never gives up on His children, even though they repeatedly fall into idolatry and sin. It is the reason He sent His only Son on a rescue mission. See also His Steadfast Love Endures Forever.

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