The Parable of the Lost Son Luke 15:11-24 – “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ So he got up and went to his father. “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.
The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
What was it that caused the Father to run?
A humble and repentant heart. When the prodigal son “came to his senses” his heart was repentant. He realized it was his poor decisions that left him starving to death and hanging out with the pigs. His rebellious lifestyle was only fun for a season but this false happiness didn’t last long. Fortunatley, the swine pen was a miserable place to be. It was this misery that led to a Godly sorrow that brought repentance. The alternative is worldly sorrow that results in death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
Did you notice that while the prodigal was still a long way off, the father was looking for his son, waiting for him to return. How God must long for us to “come to our senses” and return to Him. The moment that we do, He puts on His running shoes and sprints to us. But He doesn’t stop there. He throws His arms around us, kisses us and then He throws us a party! What an awesome God! What a wonderful Savior!