Luke 15:20 And he (the prodigal son) arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
Luke 15:28 But he (the older son, another prodigal) was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him.
There is a very famous story in the Bible called ‘The Prodigal Son’ Luke 15:11-32. It’s a parable or story meant for teaching. Jesus shared it for many reasons, but one is to reveal how God, like a loving Father, pursues us. Not to harangue us or discipline us or force us into faith, but to show us His love and invite is into wonderful relationship with Him. Some of you know this story.
Luke 15:12-13 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 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 the story does not end there. This younger son comes to his senses and heads home to see if he can be one of his father’s servants. But the dad sees this young son returning and does something undignified for an older man in that culture and runs to his son. It is a great picture of the great God of the universe who runs after us. There is an old song that explains it well called “When God Ran” by Benny Hester. This song always gets me because, honestly, my earthy father did not run much after me. Actually, he divorced my mom and I rarely saw him. He tried to cover up his absence up by saying “out of sight out of mind.” What?!? That statement hurt worse. Yet, God ran after me, and that kind of love and affirmation has never left me.
Now this parable is also good in challenging us dads, and really all of us, to pursue others. We are never too important to go after and initiate interactions with others. When was the last time you sought someone out?
Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
This dad could have gotten in the face of his son for dishonoring and squandering and wandering away, but he had compassion.
1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
Also, this dad went to where his sons were, yes, in running to the younger, but also in going out to meet the older. That older son was struggling with the grace and mercy his younger sibling was receiving, yet the dad met this older son where he was. Jesus was a great example of this as He did not wait for people to gather to Him, He went to their house (See Luke 19:1-10 and Mark 2:13-17).
Ephesians 4:2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,
There is a lot more we can learn from this story, but it’s clear, a good dad/person pursues others. Who could you pursue this week? Maybe even someone who you have a conflict with that you could forgive? Maybe someone who has started making contact with you? Maybe someone who is struggling? Maybe someone who God seems to have put on your mind? Your pursuit may be just the affirmation you both could use.
Church can be a great place to learn more from Jesus’ teachings. That’s why we created a new section on our website called “Revive your soul this week.” Housed here are a number of links to videos, emails, posts, and publications of biblical teachings that will revive your soul. These resources also help give greater insight to our Sunday teachings. Every Sunday we learn from the Bible and seek to know God more. Here is the link to our live-streaming services (see live.neighborhoodchurch.com) As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings visit our YouTube channel.
Seeking to pursue others more along with you,