The Parable of the Perfect Father
A pastor friend of mine said that a young lady came for counseling and sat down across from him. She was thirty years old, single and teary eyed. As she talked to him and shared her heart, it was evident that she saw that marriage had to be the key to her happiness. Without marriage, all she could see was protracted loneliness. So, as he listened to her, he said, "What kind of man are you looking for?" He said for the next thirty minutes, she told him what kind of man she was looking for. He said that after hearing her ideal of a man that has never existed, he said to her, "Could you just bring it down to one phrase?" And she said, "Yes, I am looking for the 'total man."'
The total man. Is there a total man? I think all of us look for the 'total man,' the perfect person. And certainly, all of us look up to and hope that our fathers would be the perfect man.
I think most of us fathers are like Irma Bombeck's description: "Daddy was a clumsy creature, but he was safe at any speed." That's the way most of us are. We're just not quite good enough. There is no perfect father, except one, and I believe the parable that we commonly call, "The parable of the prodigal son is really a picture of the perfect father."
What's God like? How many times have you asked_ "What's God like? If I could just see God. If I could just talk to God, I'd really know what God is like." Well, the Bible, particularly the parables, have told us what God is like, and so, I want you to see in this parable, the perfect father.
Notice first of all, the perfect father is an approachable father. In verse 11, "There was a man who had two sons and the younger one said to his father, "Father, give me my share of the estate." He must have believed that he could approach his father and ask him for such a big thing because his father was approachable. You know, there are a lot of fathers that aren't approachable. You'd be amazed at the young people I talk to, couples, and even adults over a period of years, who , in talking about their father, they say, "Well, Father, well, he was a good man, he was a hard-working man, and I know he loved me, but he was kind of critical of me. He never told me he really loved me. It seemed like he was too busy for me. He had a negative attitude about things. He'd blow off. He wouldn't ever listen. Before I could say anything, he'd just blow his stack. I know he loved me, but I didn't feel I could really talk to my daddy." This father, the perfect father, is approachable.
The boy came to his father and said, "Father, I want what is mine." Now, why in the world would that boy want to leave such an environment as that? Why would he want to leave a home where he could talk to his father and have such a relationship with his father? Before we get too critical about that boy, however, let's look at us. why would we, who have been blessed of God with so many gifts, intellect, emotions, ...
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