The Compassionate Father
I don’t know about you but I longed for my father to love me, to cherish me, adore me, and think that I was one of the greatest joys of his life. As a child, I longed to be held and carried securely in his loving arms. I longed for him to impart his wisdom, guidance, and share his experiences about life and the world around us. I also longed for a father who when I failed, messed up, or made foolish decisions wouldn’t reject or think less of me but with compassion bring me to his breast, hold me, then with love correct me. I longed for that kind of father! How about you?
Today, I want to introduce you to my Father, ABBA (translated in English as, Daddy or Papa) who has filled all of the longings of my heart and soul. But first, I want to share with you how Jesus, on one occasion, introduced us to Him in the Gospel of Luke Chapter 15 versus 11-32 in the parable of the Prodigal Son.
The word prodigal means spending resources freely and recklessly, to be wasteful, and extravagant.
I know you may have read the story many times but bear with me for just a moment as I share some of my discoveries of our ABBA through this parable. For me, the parable should be called, “The Compassionate Father.” Read verses 11-17 regarding the son’s experiences living lavishly in sin, hungry, and losing everything. And then when he was left with nothing, living with pigs, he thought of what it was like living at home with his father. (Taken from the Amplified Bible)
17 But when he [finally] came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough food, while I am dying here of hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; [just] treat me like one of your hired men.”
In other words, the son was saying, my father is a great provider, even to the least of those in our household, the slaves. I feel so ashamed, I am not worthy to be called his son. Have you ever messed up with our Father so badly that instead of running into His arms to say I am sorry, you hid from him? I have many times! I hid from Him in movies, books, shopping, and activities. But I wouldn’t pray or talk to Him about what I had done because I was afraid He wouldn’t want me anymore. The greatest fear we face with our Father is feeling He would reject us and not love us. Why? Because from past history with our parents or other human beings when we messed up they rejected us or had nothing to do with us, right? But let’s take a look at what our Father did when He saw his son coming down the road after leaving His love and protection to try to fulfill his needs his own way.
THE COMPASSIONATE FATHER
Verses 20-21: While his son was a long way off:
- He Saw Him -The father must have been waiting, watching, and anticipating the day his son would return home. And, finally, the day had arrived.
- He was Moved with Compassion for Him – Love poured out, not judgment, not rejection, but overwhelming love and gratefulness. Our Father rejoices over one soul who finds his way back home into the Kingdom. He rejoices with compassion when one of His children turn to Him whenever they sin, mess up, get lost, or feel rejected.
- He Ran to Him – In Bible days, men of prestigious statue never ran. But this father sure did! With arms opened wide, while his son was still a far off, he ran to him. The son was not running, he was ashamed, but his father was ecstatic!
- He Embraced Him – The son had been living in the pig’s pen so he wreaked with odor, his clothes were filthy, and hair matted with sweat and grime.
- He Kissed Him – The son was repenting to his father, but the father wasn’t listening. The father was overjoyed that his son was finally home.
Verse 22: Then he clothed him:
There was no shower to clean him up, there was no washing his hair or making the son worthy again…he was his son, he was born worthy! When we gave our heart to our Father and Lord Jesus Christ and were born-again, we were made completely righteous, worthy, acceptable forever, placed in the Kingdom of God and seated at the right hand of God, just as we were. The blood of Jesus, over 2000 years ago had already washed us and cleansed us.
Romans 5: 8 (Amplified Bible) But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners (filthy, stinking, wretched, depraved), Christ died for us.
THE GIFTS HE GIVES
The Robe – He was returned back to FAVOR without a shower! He was restored to his rightful place in the household. The robe given to the son was the first robe intended for the elder son, now placed on the back of the lost younger son. This represents how Jesus Christ, our elder brother gave us His Robe of Righteousness and shared with us all of His rights to everything in the Kingdom of God.
Isaiah 61:10 (Amplified Bible)
I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has covered me with a Robe of Righteousness. As a bridegroom puts on a turban, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
The Ring – A ring of authority which allows him full rights to all the father owns and has. It was like a credit card or line of credit in our day; every one of his needs was supplied. Our elder brother Jesus Christ has been given ALL power and authority in heaven and earth and His authority has been shared with us. And, our Father has supplied every one of our needs by Christ Jesus. The ring is also a legal sign of Son-ship of the family the son belongs to. We have been sealed with the Holy Spirit forever!
The Sandals – The son was barefoot or his shoes frayed from his journey, either case, NEW shoes were given to him by his father representing a new walk and new way of life. Only slaves in Biblical days walked barefoot. We too are to walk in the NEWNESS of Life In Christ, the old is gone!
The Fatted Calf – The father’s best was prepared for his son. The fatted calf was very rare in those days, only used for very special occasions; that’s why the elder son in the story was jealous. Our Father gave us His very best: His one and only precious Son, Jesus, the Lamb of God who took away ALL of the sins of the whole world.
The Celebration – The father had a great feast inviting all of his friends and neighbors to celebrate the return of his lost son. They celebrated… HE WAS LOST BUT NOW HE HAS BEEN FOUND! Our Father loves to celebrate us! We are His beloved children, forever enthralled by His love and grace. He is FULL OF COMPASSION, TENDER MERCIES, WITH AN OVERWHELMING LOVE FOR US! Sin is just a drop into the ocean of His unfailing grace and love for us.
In my ABBA, all of my longings have been fulfilled! My Papa loves me, cherishes me, adores me, and tells me I am one of the greatest joys of His life! He holds and carries me securely in His loving arms… I feel SAFE! He imparts His wisdom, guidance, and shares His experiences about life and the world around me through His Word. When I fail, mess up, or make foolish decisions, I run to Him, He teaches and disciplines me with compassion as He brings me to His breast to hold me.
I have such an Awesome ABBA, Daddy, Papa… and so do you!