“Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them,” Luke 15: 1-2, KJV.
Focal Passage: Luke 15:11-24
Many of us are familiar with the parable Jesus told about the prodigal son in Luke 15. For those who are unaware of this passage of scripture its where Jesus spoke of a man who had two sons and the younger one asked for his inheritance up front. When the father honored his request, he left home and squandered it away. After the money was gone, he found himself working for another and living like an animal.
Left with no where else to turn, the son considers returning home knowing that his father possessed all that he needed. Before he actually took those hard steps to return home, he considered his position. “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants,” Luke 15:18-19, KJV. This young man was willing to become like the hired servants his father employed as they ate well while he ate out the bin of hogs.
As he prepared himself to go back home, something happened to this young man in the process. He realized the error of his ways. This young man was able to identify his faults and was willing to humble himself in submission. There is a very important lesson to be learned here. Often when people find themselves in predicaments, they always have a way of making it somebody else’s fault. It is beyond them to consider the actions they themselves have contributed to their situations.
The young man in this parable did not blame anyone for his problems. He did not point the finger at another for his actions. He examined his situation and realized that he could do better even if he had to start at the bottom. Are we willing to humble ourselves by going back to basics?
“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 thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy 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: 20-24, KJV.
Isn’t this what God does for us? He doesn’t give us what we deserve; He supplies us with what we need. There may be some things that we don’t want to go through, but may be necessary. And in that process of “learning our lesson or lessons,” He lifts us up from where we are. God rejoices over submission to Him, the obedience of accepting salvation. Whatever it takes to get us saved, God maps it out for us, but we’re the ones with the controls deciding the way. He blesses us with the free will to choose. To choose Him is to choose life. No matter how bad we may have messed up, God gladly welcomes us with open arms. We must come to the realization that He doesn’t owe us anything, but that we owe Him everything.
“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth,” Luke 15:10, KJV.