Father's Day 6/20
“How Father God Feels About You”
BIG idea: Our God is a Loving Father! What is God really like? Some people think the most important question of life is “Do you believe in God?” But a more important question is “What kind of God do you believe in?”
Some people think the most important question of life is…“Do you believe in God?” But, a more important question is…
“What kind of God do you believe in?”
In the previous chapter (Luke 14) Jesus was breaking bread at the house of one of the Chief Pharisees on the Sabbath, where he shared parables about the Kingdom of God. Subsequently, Luke 15:1 begins with the phrase, “Then all the tax collectors and sinners drew near to Jesus.”
In the days of Jesus, tax collectors and sinners were seen as traitors in their society; people who had no interest in religion; but they liked Jesus because he showed them the heart of God. Jesus presented three stories to this group of societal outcasts that, when presented together, could be paraphrased, “The Parables of the Father’s Heart.”
The stories Jesus told were the parables of the lost sheep, the woman with ten coins and the prodigal son. Each of the three stories Jesus told were to let us know from different perspectives how God feels about us as a loving father toward his children.
The Pharisees grumbled among themselves that Jesus both received and broke bread with the sinners. It was the Pharisees, who claimed to know God the best and were the most likely to understand the love of God exhibited in the parables—but they exhibited the least evidence of that love.
The problem of the day was the same problem we see in the church today, religion. Jesus was spending time with “those kind of people” who did not happen to be “our kind of people.” Jesus told the stories to counter these adversarial attitudes and open the door of God’s love to societal outcasts. These stories were the voice of God speaking to the people in terms they understood. He was saying, “This is what I’m really like.”
Through his compassion, Jesus reveals graciousness to people who have fallen or failed; people who have wasted an opportunity or resources. Upon our realization of failure comes a sense of unworthiness, and we keep our distance as a result. It is to these people who have distanced themselves from the gospel that Jesus says, “if you want to know what God is like, look at me.”
1. The Father never loses hope – The son ran against everything the father had hoped for him. God does not give up caring—He never loses His idea of what He has made us to be.
2. The Father is always looking for us – His eyes are on us. When we wander away from God and His ways, our discomfort comes from guilt, not from im. After the son came to his senses, he started back, and while a long way off, his father saw him and ran to meet him. The father had been watching for the son’s return. The heart of God never ceases waiting.
3. The son comes with repentance – The father’s heart always responds to a repentant heart. Repentance is turning from our ways and aligning with God’s ways. God gets blamed for everything where we do not want to take responsibility. Repentance opens the door for God to release possibilities on His terms.
4. The son received reinstatement in the partnership with his father – The father rejoices at his son’s return and hears his repentance. The father gives his son the following:
a. A ring—signifying the renewed partnership with his father.
b. A robe—a covering for the past and a representation for the new.
c. Shoes—to walk away from the memories of loss and mourning and reinstating the possibilities for what he had in mind for his son.
Conclusion - The Father’s heart for us is far beyond our comprehension, especially if we have knowingly wandered from his ways. For those who want to be touched by God’s love, I urge you to read and embrace the messages within the parables of the lost sheep, lost coin and prodigal son. Jesus wants us to know the extent of God’s love for us—He never loses Hope; He’s always looking for us; He’s ready to receive us when we repent; He’s willing to reinstate the possibilities He has in His mind for us.
Jesus came to die for our sins (for we are all “sinners”) and display the love of God. It was God who absorbed in himself the price of our sin. The One who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?