The Waiting Father
Today the idea of the true fatherhood is hard to define. The world we live in has turned being a good father on its heals. We have fathers who abuse their children. We have divorce that hurts the family and then the fathers stop supporting their children or even seeing their children. We have kids who do not even know their father. Then you have fathers that are work-aholics and do not spend much time with their children. This has given us a world of hurt and pain when people hear the word FATHER.
In the Christian life it is compounded even more because we describe God as our FATHER. When we use this word to describe God for many it conjures up bad images, because of the way their Father has been. Kids these days start to think of God as unloving, unconcerned, and emotionally a strain on their lives.
God is not that way at all. We see him constantly portrayed as the greatest father that has ever been. So, we come to the epic of what God as our true father is in Scripture.
This is probably the most familiar of all the parables that Jesus told. It is also one of the greatest short stories ever written. It is recognized as a great literary work. It is the most descriptive and detailed of all the parables that Jesus told. And unlike most of the parables of Jesus there is more than one lesson to be learned from it. We see three different characters in this parable that represent two groups and God.
First you see the youngest son. He represents a person in rebellion then later in the story he represents a person of sound repentance.
The elder brother illustrates the self-righteous attitudes of the Pharisees at the time. It also shows their indifference to the repentant sinners.
Then there is the Father, who represents God, eager to forgive both of the sons. The main feature is the joy of God, the celebrations that fills heaven over one repenta ...
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