Most of you are probably familiar with the story Jesus tells of the Prodigal Son found in Luke 15.
A fairly wealthy man has two sons. The younger one decides he’s had enough of boring ranch life and asks his dad to give him his inheritance early. Without looking back, he heads off into the world, living his best life, and squandering everything his father bestowed on him along the way. Eventually, the shininess wears off and the young man recognizes the mess he’s made. He longs for the life he gave up, yet realizes he is unworthy to even eat with the pigs. Humbly, he makes his way home, hoping his father might take pity on him and hire him as a farmhand.
Luke tells us that “when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran to him.” This story has several messages, but the overarching point is that our Father, like the one in the story, has tremendous compassion and mercy for His children, even when our hearts are prone to wander. He watches for us when we leave Him, and He celebrates when we return!
This parable actually follows two similar parables in Luke 15…