Many have called this “The Running Father” instead of “The Prodigal Son” because it’s the actions of the father in these Scriptures that give a glimpse into the very heart of God our heavenly Father. First, we see the father is looking for his son and spots him afar off. I can imagine every day, the father looking to the horizon for a glimpse of his son returning home. And every day losing hope that he would return.
Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the prodigal son. Didn’t we run away from the homes that God had given us to explore the world with riotous living? All the while our heavenly Father was watching and looking for us to return home to Him. How it must have broken His heart to see the destructive ungodly choices we made. And yet, He loves us with an everlasting love and yearns for us to come home to Him. (Jeremiah 31:3b-c)
In addition, a man during this time in history would never been seen in public running through town. (which would have required him to girt up his loins by tucking his robe into his belt). I read that the son could be banned from the town or humiliated publicly, because he dishonored his father and their town with his sinful actions. This likely would have been another reason why the father ran to his son; he wanted to protect him from the humiliation and judgement of others.
Can we see how God sent His Son to die for us so we could be set free from the judgment we deserved because of all our sins? I love the correlation between the prodigal son’s father and our heavenly Father. Jesus became sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21a) and was naked and beaten, was crucified, and died for us. He was humiliated and tortured for me and you. When I think of what Jesus did on the cross for me, I am overwhelmed with gratitude because I know I don’t deserve it, but I humbly receive this precious gift of salvation that cost God the most precious thing He had, His Son.
Lastly, we too were once dead in our trespasses and sins against God, (Ephesians 2:1b), but when we confessed our sins, like the prodigal son, we were welcomed into the family of God. There was a celebration in heaven the day you received Christ as your Savior (Luke 15:10). God has clothed you in a beautiful white robe (Revelation 7:9) and put a ring on your finger and has adopted you into His Holy Family (Romans 8:15b-c). One day we’ll all be together for the great feast in heaven, the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9). Hallelujah, Thank you Jesus!!
Thank you, Father, for the gift of adoption into your family. I am no longer an orphan, a stranger, an outcast, I am yours forever.
What is your relationship with your earthly father like?
Do you see God as a good and kind Father?
Do you truly know how much you are loved by God?
If you are not sure, just look to the cross where Jesus died, that’s how much God loves you He gave His Son.