Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bible Study Notes on Being a Father Part 2

As we continue our topical study on the family and fatherhood in particular, let's look at and meditate on the premier grace shown in the story of the prodigal son:
Luke 15:11-24  And He said, "A man had two sons. 12 "The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' So he divided his wealth between them. 13 "And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14 "Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 "So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 "And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 "But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 'I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men."' 20 "So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 "And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22 "But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate.
-Notice the Father’s seeking and looking for his son, patiently waiting and desiring to shed his grace and compassion on him upon the humble and broken return home. We see forgiveness at its best here in this parable. Restoration (repair, renewal, reestablishment, and reinstatement) and reconciliation (reunion) are the focus, not retribution (vengeance, revenge, payback, and reckoning). His heart condition was right toward his son to receive him back, and he actually gave him the choicest of everything (best robe of clothing, the ring of authority, shoes of protection, provision of the finest calf to eat, music and dancing of celebration) to show his love for this repentant-much wiser son who was dead and came back to life again.

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