The Father Who Begs
- Dr Eliezer Gonzalez
- New Testament
Apr 22, 2019 1137
You can still be lost even if you think you’ve never left the Father. In Jesus’ parable about the two lost sons, they aren’t lost because of their geographical location, after all, although the youngest son did leave the father, the older brother never left at all (Luke 15:31).
These boys are “lost,” not because of where they are, but because they have wrong images of their father. The youngest son thinks his father is a fool, and that he could make better use of his father’s wealth. The oldest son thinks his father is a heartless and unfair slave-driver (v.29).
You have to ask yourself: Why do the two sons respond so differently to their Father’s kindness and love? The youngest son surrenders to it and enjoys it, while at the end of the story, the oldest son is still fuming and angry at his father. The youngest son understands who his father is, but the oldest is left bitterly holding onto a wrong image of his father.
In fact, the tragedy of the oldest son is that he seems to not be live in the real world at all! Right at the beginning of the story, his father had already given him all that he had (v.12). At the end of the story, his father reminds him, “Everything I have is yours” (v.31).
Yet all the son can do is to accuse his father with his tragically wrong version of reality:
“All these years… you never gave me” anything (v29).
One of the greatest delusions is to judge your Heavenly Father as you judge yourself.
He has seen the kindness of his father not just in his own life, but also in how his father has treated his younger brother. Yet it seems that there is absolutely nothing that his father can do or say to convince him that his father is not an unfair slave-driver and a tyrant. How can this be?
Yet it is. And it is true in the lives of many people today. Here is the reason why.
It’s because many people judge their Heavenly Father as they judge themselves. They cannot conceive of God as being better than they are themselves. And because they see themselves as worthless, they see the father in the same image. They cannot conceive of God as being worthy of worship and of love.
To try to make God in our own image as created beings is at the heart of the very nature of sin. The Bible says that humanity has,
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised(Rom 1:25, NIV).
But our Father in Heaven is far better than anything that our minds can conceive. He cannot be compared to anything created, and not even with we ourselves. He says:
To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal? (Isa 40:25, NIV).
The difference between the two boys in the story of Jesus is that although the father’s love is completely beyond his understanding, the youngest son gives in and surrenders to it (vv.21–24). And when he does that, the son starts to see the true image of who his father is. First, you must surrender.
The tragedy of the story is the oldest son. It’s impossible for the him to have a right image of his father, while he insists on judging the father the way he judges himself.
Among the many stories of Jesus, this one is unusual. It ends on a cliff-hanger. The ending is left up to you. Which son or daughter will you be? The younger one or the older?
The Father of Love is begging you. Won’t you come in?
– Eliezer Gonzalez