Let’s think back to where all this started: people who thought they knew more about the Kingdom of God than Jesus did asked how He could eat with sinners. As we’ve seen, our merciful and gracious God invites everyone into His house. As such, eating with sinners doesn’t contradict God’s teachings at all; it reinforces them. If God forgives and Christ forgives, as in this story, and we are called to be Christlike than we should do the same.
How else can this parable inform our actions? Well, while of course it is comforting to acknowledge the reality that we are all forgiven when we repent and are welcome in the Father’s house, we must not stop at accepting that mercy.
We must extend it to others. Yes, God is revealing aspects of His character here, but in doing so, it begs us to implement the same.
If God welcomes sinners home, then certainly those who trust in God should do likewise. If God has compassion, then certainly those who love God should be compassionate as well.
Just like we were called to be like Jesus who was the perfect younger brother without the disobedience and the perfect older brother without the pride, we are also called to be like the father.
We should not just be the one who is forgiven, but also the one who forgives. This may mean allowing myself to get a little uncomfortable, check my ego at the door, and surrender to how God wants me to live as His follower.
Let us not just be the ones who are welcomed home, but also the ones who welcome others home.
Let us not just be the ones who receive compassion, but the ones who offer it well.
God’s compassion is described by Jesus not simply to show how willing God is to forgive, but to invite us to become like God and show the same compassion to others.
We’ve covered so much ground together!
Where do you see yourself in this parable? Ask God to reveal that to you. Where is your distant country? Are you there now? Do you need to turn from it and to God? Have you turned away from sin, but still need to accept forgiveness?
If you have been delivered from a distant country, spend time praising him this week for that!
Tomorrow will bring another short testimony and then our time in this series will come to a close. Before we get there, though, take 4 minutes to watch this video. You’ll be grateful you did! I’d love it if you leave your reactions in the comments.
Did you know I created a worship playlist just for this series?!
Celebrate a good, good Father who is always calling and welcoming his children home!
Previous posts from the Prodigal Series
Miss one? I got you covered! All teachings from this series are found here.