The Story of the Incredible Father

Wayne Jacobsen thinks we have missed the point in our Sunday School story.  He suggests that we have called it The Story of the Prodigal Son and maybe missed really seeing what an incredibly loving father, representing the Father, is actually so central.

I won’t retell the story here, but you know it.  You know about the son who saw his father as the money-man, Give me what I want so I can do what I want to do, and the older son who saw his father as the task-master, I have to do all the work to earn what I need…

But what did the father really want?

This father wanted an intimate relationship with both of his children.  He wanted them to know how deeply they were loved and to experience their love in return.  He didn’t want his sons’ obedience, but their hearts.  Knowing this would happen only when the son truly understood who his father was, he risked it all by letting the son have what he wanted.  Only by coming to the end by himself would the son recognize what had been important to the father all along.

 

“As a parent of adult children I understand that.  There’s nothing I prize more with my children than those moments when we share the honesty and intimacy of friendship.  When they know I love them, and they respond the same way to me, there’s nothing better.

 

“That’s the point of Jesus’ story.  The father was not manipulating the son by anything he did.  He was only loving the son at the deepest possible level.  That love explains why the father let him go in the first place and why he rushed so hard to embrace him.  He knew his son’s sins had been punishment enough.  He ran because he didn’t want his son to hurt one second longer than was absolutely necessary.  His pain had brought him home.  Nothing else mattered.

 

“God feels the same way about you.   He’s not interested in your service or sacrifice.  He only wants you to know how much you are loved, hoping you will choose to love him in return.  Understand that, and everything else in your life will fall into place;  miss that, and nothing else will make any difference.”  Wayne Jacobsen, He Loves Me, Learning to Live in the Father’s Affection

Later in the chapter the author says that everything in our lives {everything?!?!} hinges on this one simple question:

Do you know how loved you really are?

He loves me, He loves me lots…He love me, He loves me lots…

Me: On a quest to understand the Father’s love, His heart towards even me…made me remember this old song (1981) by Benny Hester, “When God Ran”

And now, my prayer for my own battered-performance-driven heart and for all the people I love and for 40,000 who will come to Heaven Fest 2012 where we are building a platform to communicate the Father heart of God to this generation…

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge —that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  EPH 3.17-19 NIV

2 thoughts on “The Story of the Incredible Father

  1. I think you (and Wayne Jacobsen) are right, Jeanie. If we really knew how much our Father loves us… if we truly understood it and let it TRANSFORM us, we would be totally different creatures. We would treat ourselves and others as the royalty He has made us to be. We would waste no time groveling or wallowing or regretting or plotting. We would live victoriously, expecting God to talk to us and use us. We would be bold and never be tempted to believe the lies that we are powerless, dark, alone, or weak. Oh, how I WISH that for our “generation” of many generations! God, alter us with Your love!

  2. It’s interesting, there are a couple of different interpretations besides the standard “Bible School” version. One is from NT Wright which is quite a bit more “heady”. It deals with Israel (or at least the religious system) as the older son and the rest of the world as the younger son.

    While I think that is also a great way to look at this, I still think the story of “The faithful Father” really shows the father heart of God.

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