There was a very interesting question on Facebook this morning; did the prodigal son return to his father because he was hungry or because he was repentant over his sin and his behaviour?
This is a great question and one that should bring about lots of answers and maybe some debate, but it is not the most important point in this account.
The important thing is the reaction of the father.
When the son returns we do not see the father asking why he returned, there is no discussion about this.
When the father sees his son returning (because he was looking out for him all the time) he is filled with compassion for him and is not interested in why he returned, he is just overjoyed that he has returned.
He runs to him, hugs him with violence and kisses him (Luke 15 v 20).
The son does start to give his little speech that he has prepared but the father ignores this and just gets the party started (Luke 15 v 21 to 23).
The father is not interested in the son grovelling and saying sorry, trying to get back into his good books, he is simply overjoyed that his son is back in the family.
The same is true for our Heavenly Father, as this account of course is a picture of Father God.
When we come to him for the first time or when we come back to Him He is simply overjoyed that we have returned; He then gives us His best in terms of all that Jesus bought for us on the cross (John 10 v 10, 3 John 2 and 2 Corinthians 8 v 9)
We do not have to scrape and grovel pleading for forgiveness; yes, we can say sorry but that is for our benefit not for God.
We have already been forgiven for all the sin, stupidity and nonsense in our lives through the shed blood of Jesus (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).
I’m not saying that we should not feel sorrow or feel repentant, however we do not need to ask God for forgiveness; He does not want it and he does not need it because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.
We may come to God for many different reasons, but every single one of us has been (or will be) accepted by Him into His family (Ephesians 1 v 5).
We simply had to make the decision to come to him, like the prodigal son who simply had to arise and go.
This account is a wonderful picture of the acceptance and inclusiveness of Father God through Jesus Christ.
His arms are always out wide, His door is always open, His eyes are looking out for us, and His acceptance is always there.
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you love me, are looking out for me and always want the best for me”.
Luke 15 v 20…..And he arose, and cam to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him