But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
Though we often refer to this story as “The Parable of the Prodigal Son,” it could be called “The Parable of the Prodigal Father.” We may think that “prodigal” refers to sinful, rebellious, or wayward behavior. But it actually means “wasteful in a reckless way; extremely generous, lavish.”
The term may describe the rebellious son’s wild living, but it also describes the father’s lavish love. This parable is about our Father’s character and how his generous love operates in a world full of wayward children; the ones that leave home as well as the ones who stay physically but their hearts are distant.
Jesus wants us to know without a doubt that his Father’s love is abundantly prodigal, and that when we repent and return home, our Father, with all of heaven, is ready to celebrate!
Lord, thank you for the radical and lavish love that you give to your children. You are full of forgiveness and grace beyond measure. Wherever we have wandered from your love spiritually or emotionally, we know that you long for our return. You are a good, good Father.