A Short Study of Luke 15:20

“And he arose, and came 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.”
(Luke 15:20)

This is the parable of the prodigal. Jesus told it in the presence of two different kinds of people. The first group was known sinners, who were apparently seeking the help of Christ. The second group was the Pharisees and scribes, who were offended that Jesus would have relations with the first group.

The parable speaks of the son who dishonored his father, left him, and soaked up the pleasures of sin…for a little while. His sin brought him poverty, hunger, and disgrace. He determined to go back to his father, and try to simply get hired as a servant. We see the response of the Father in this verse. It was no stand-offish, distant greeting. It was an overwhelming welcome…his father running to meet his sinful son, hugging and kissing him. A celebration followed with food, music, and merriment.

Why?

Because the son had returned home, he had forsaken his foolish life to come back to the Father.

If you are a prodigal, let me ask you, “Has it been worth it?”

Do you identify with this prodigal, being ashamed and grieved over your sin?

Consider God in heaven. He runs to meet his repentant children and gives free and full forgiveness. The same chapter states that there is great joy in heaven over one sinner that repents (Luke 15:7,10). Be assured, however, that as your Father welcomes you, He expects you to “Go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). Thank you, Father, for receiving sinners (Luke 15:2).

By Timothy Guess

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