K.Y.E.O.J. – IV. to be loved the same

Shalom, my friends! This is part 4 of “Keep Your Eyes On Jesus”, a series on the parables of Jesus in memory of Lent. We have less than three weeks to go until Good Friday! Today, we want to look at the parable of the lost son. Here we go:

To further illustrate the point, he told them this story: “A man had two sons. When the younger told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die!’ his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.

“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there wasted all his money on parties and prostitutes. About the time his money was gone a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the swine looked good to him. And no one gave him anything.

“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired men have food enough and to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man.”’

“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming, and was filled with loving pity and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

“His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and you, and am not worthy of being called your son—’

“But his father said to the slaves, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. And a jeweled ring for his finger; and shoes! And kill the calf we have in the fattening pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has returned to life. He was lost and is found.’ So the party began.

“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working; when he returned home, he heard dance music coming from the house, and he asked one of the servants what was going on.

“‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the calf we were fattening and has prepared a great feast to celebrate his coming home again unharmed.’

“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve worked hard for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to; and in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. Yet when this son of yours comes back after spending your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the finest calf we have on the place.’

“‘Look, dear son,’ his father said to him, ‘you and I are very close, and everything I have is yours. But it is right to celebrate. For he is your brother; and he was dead and has come back to life! He was lost and is found!’”

Luke 15:11-32 TLB

What point was Jesus making? The reason why Jesus started telling the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and this parable in the first place, was to respond to the Jewish religious leaders grumbling about Him associating, even eating, with the unrighteous. They expected Jesus to treat them differently – they expected Him to want to spend more time with them rather than “those people”. Jesus is telling them that the Father loves His children the same, meeting their needs differently. For the problem of the elder son was not that He was afraid the father would not accept him (that was the concern of the younger son); why would he if he is doing everything right, living a faithful, obedient life? No, he was angry at his father for treating his younger sibling, who did not deserve anything he received, in such a kind, loving way! It was pride, a sense of entitlement coming from self-righteousness, that demanded the father to love him more than his “sinning” brother. Don’t we get this feeling, too, when we see God extending His love, grace and mercy to a brother or sister in Christ who does not even know how to appreciate it and keeps grieving the Father’s heart? Just imagine the time this older son had to spend watching his father look out the window day and night for this mischievous brother! All the while he was faithful and did everything right. It is no wonder he thinks it is unfair. But that is how the Father in heaven loves us all!

“Look, dear son, you and I are very close, and everything I have is yours.”

To all you older sons in the parable, this is the Father’s response to you! The Father and everything He has is your reward. The intimacy you have with Him is your reward! When you believe, you can enter the party thrown for your prodigal sibling with joy and laughter, arm in arm with the father. Yes, you can even wait together with him, looking out the window, and running out to meet your lost brother with open arms when he returns home. Don’t you want the truth to set you free like this? You will be able to love so much more!

Now, another point I want to make in this post is about the lost son. Pay attention to his hunger, that he got so hungry that he even wanted what was given to pigs but he wasn’t given anything. I was talking to a friend yesterday, how there are times when God leaves you hungry for a reason. You are so hungry on the inside, but there is nothing that can fill this void in your heart; no other person in this world. You keep striving for intimacy, maybe you are waiting for “the one”, your lover, but somehow even that kind of relationship does not satisfy. My friend, if this is you, maybe, just maybe this is your Father in heaven inviting you to come home to Him! Because He is waiting there for you – and He would run towards you even before you get there, seeing you from afar, recognizing you; giving you a robe and a ring to tell everybody that you are His child. Do you hear me? Do you hear the Father calling?

“His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and you, and am not worthy of being called your son—’
But his father said to the slaves, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. And a jeweled ring for his finger; and shoes! And kill the calf we have in the fattening pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has returned to life. He was lost and is found.’

Look at Him. Keep your eyes on Jesus.

God bless you!

K.Y.E.O.J. – introducing a new series

Our God is mighty in battle! Amen? Amidst the confusion, chaos and terrible disasters happening this year, we have entered Lent and I want to start a new series of looking into the parables of Jesus which talk about the kingdom of heaven; I want to remind us of what we are to seek first.

I believe that the louder the noise gets, the more we need to keep our eyes on Jesus only (Keep Your Eyes On Jesus)! His blood has been shed for the church, His bride, to enable us to serve Him without fear. The Spirit, the water and the blood are witnesses of the Son and by His grace, those who receive it will see Him and the kingdom He is building more clearly. When you get still before the Lord after going through the parables and raise your hands to worship in awe and wonder of who God is, then you know you have the right Spirit.

We’re starting soon with the parable of the wheat and the tares! Stay tuned!