“I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” Luke 15:19
If you’re not familiar with the “Prodigal Son” story, allow me to tell you the abbreviated version:
The younger son leaves with his inheritance
Goes to a distant country and spends it all on loose living
There is a famine = no work for young son
Starving young son gets the job feeding pigs
Wishes he could eat the pig food
Comes to himself and remembers home…
Remembers how the lowest servants ate plenty of bread…
He decides to go back home.
“I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”
Truly, a repentant heart to say the least. The young son intends to confess his sin. He is willing to assume the responsibility for the hurt he caused and accepts the consequences of his actions. He expected nothing more than the lowest of standard of living and public shame for the rest of his life.
For many of us who have failed miserably in our Christian walk, who have come to ourselves and humbly set out on the long journey to our home with Jesus; our perception of our return is just as bleak. We stop here in the parable and never leave the place of self-loathing. We linger here, at the very end of the long path leading home, dragging our feet and never to looking up.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.”
“But the father…”
Did you read that? -“But”- Contrary to what we thought returning home would be like, He wraps His arms around us and kisses us and accepts us! He doesn’t even acknowledge our feelings of unworthiness. Instead, he celebrates our return!
The enemy would rather we stayed in that far off place, never looking up, never entering in, crippled by shame and robbed of joyful living. Most especially, Satan intends to keep is there, stalled by self-condemnation and of no effect for the Kingdom of God. But, Jesus says:
“I am come that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.” John 10:10
It’s time to come home. It’s time to lift our heads and see:
The Father watching for our return
The Father running to greet, to hug and kiss us!
It’s time to accept His redemption and enjoy the life Jesus died to give us!
We’re not dead anymore. We’re alive.
We’re not lost anymore. We’re found!