“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. And the son said unto him, ‘Father, I have sinned against Heaven and in your sight and am no more worthy to be called your son.’  But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring forth the best robe and put it on him.  And, put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet—and bring hither the fatted calf and kill it.  And, let us eat and be merry—for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’  And they began to be merry.”

Luke 15:21-24

The road Home may be long and wearisome, but the Reception that awaits us defies description and is beyond our wildest dreams (I Cor. 2:9).

Who is this “prodigal son”. . .so defiant, discourteous and demanding of the father. . .who “gathers all together, journeys into a far country and there wastes his substance with riotous living” (vv.11-13)?

We know, don’t we?

Yes, it’s every one of us.  By nature we’re stupid, straying sheep, so prone to wander as the old Gospel song says “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love.”

And, those “roving eyes and dancing feet” always lead us into “a far country”. . .where we can live it up and cry “Belly up to the bar, boys—the drinks are on me!”  Wine, women and song.

But then the money’s gone (v.14a).  And, so are the “friends.”

And, just as quickly “there arises a mighty famine in the land” (v.14b).  It’s the ‘ole “Morton’s Salt Syndrome” (i.e., “When it rains, it pours”).  One setback after another.  Heartache and headache.

Is it any wonder that “he began to be in want (Grk. ‘hustereo’—‘to be deficient, inferior, destitute, etc.’)” and ended up going to work for an unclean Gentile. . .slopping unclean pigs. . . and even being envious of them because they were better off than him (vv.14b-16)?

No, it’s no wonder—for such is always the downward road of degradation and depravity.

But, thankfully, “he came to himself” (v.17a).  Thankfully, his remembering from whence he’d come and what he’d given up (v.17b) moved him to repentance (vv.18-19), which ultimately led him to reconciliation and restoration (vv.20-24).

Cannot the same be true today, dear Pilgrim?

Assuredly it can—for even now our Heavenly Father longs to welcome Home any who come to Him in faith and repentance.  With open Arms and nail-scarred Hands He gathers us in as a mother hen does her chicks and says “Put on him/her the best Robe (Christ’s Robe of Righteousness).  And put a ring on his/her hand (the Ring of Sonship) and shoes on his/her feet (the Shoes of Service).  And, let’s throw a Homecoming Party—for this my son/daughter was dead and is alive again; he/she was lost and is found.”  Hallelujah!!  Cease looking at yourself and your sins, weary one.  Look to Jesus instead (Heb. 12:2).  Then, rejoice with the Father in His Grace/Forgiving/Cleansing/Restoration today and let others know they can too.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated December 13, 2009

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