Borrowed Truths

Always a Son

always a son
Borrowed Truths

Always a Son

“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.” (Luke 15:20) Either that man had perfect vision, or he could recognize the son he loved from a very great distance without the ability to see clearly his features.

He must have felt a twinge of heartbreak when he first saw him, emaciated from lack of food, clothes torn and filthy, not even a pair of shoes on his feet. I have often wondered if he either sent servants or went himself to check-up on the boy without his knowledge, few parents could simply allow their children to walk out the door and expect to never hear from them again. The words of Deuteronomy 31:8 come to mind here, “He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee.”

I would ask you to realize a truth here in this short letter, the son was as much of a son to that man before he left as when he returned, he was part of the family, no less than we are a part of the family of God. That man may have invited strangers to dine with his family as they passed by, as is recorded in so many other places in the Scriptures, but they would not be invited into the inner workings of the family, they are welcome when invited, but they are not free to roam about the house, so to speak.

Civility and politeness are one of the trademarks of the born-again believer, we attempt to show the love of Christ to all we meet, letting them know that the One we serve is desirous of all to become part of His family. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) But we are also to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves (Matt. 10:16) at the same time, for our adversary is as a roaring lion, and he also sends messengers who can appear as ministers of righteousness.

When that prodigal son returned, he was not told that certain areas were now “off limits” to him, that he would no longer have a say in the family matters, he was accepted back as who he was, a son, not a slave. His position was restored. The attitude of his brother, also a son, is notable, for he did not want to see his brother restored, he did not want to see the love and acceptance poured upon him, he felt that not only was some punishment due him, but that punishment should continue indefinitely. “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” (Matt. 18:21)

I offer another point of contemplation here, who desires to serve greater, he who never left, who has obeyed all the commandments unquestionably, or he who departed to seek after the pleasures of the flesh offered by the world, and then returns, broken, despondent, embarrassed and ashamed. “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” (Luke 7:47)

I will not say here whom the Lord loves more, that is His business, not ours, but I can tell you who understands grace better, who understands more fully what it means to be forgiven. The one who has been released from prison relishes more in his freedom than the one who has never been locked behind bars.

The son returned home expecting nothing, only hoping to be accepted in the most minor menial way, what he received was unexpected, and the shame that he felt over a period of time because of his impetuous actions only diminished after the love he once knew from the father was reassured to him. He was in a sense a lost sheep, made so by his own design, and I rest assured in my assumption that the father was keeping an eye on him while he was gone, and if he would not have returned on his own, he would have gone and found that lost sheep and brought him home.

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