The Immensity of God’s Heart

A young man of seventeen secretly left his home to work in the big city. He was tired of his parents’ authority. Freedom was all he ever wanted; to make decisions on his own, free from parental restrictions. He took offense that they were not willing to support the college course he wanted to enroll. So he left to find a job and live the way he wanted. Upon learning that he was gone, his father searched for him. After several months, he found him in his workplace. The father surprised the son by his presence and pleaded for his return. He was even willing to break the family rule just for him to come back. And the son did!

The story of the prodigal son is one of the best and the most endearing of Jesus’ parables. It reveals so much about every man or woman’s desire for uncontrolled freedom. Each of us has this longing to control everything about our life. Just to do what we want without rule or restriction. But it also gives us a hopeful insight of God’s enduring quality: He never gives up on us, no matter what. He is willing to move heaven and earth to lead us back, to bring us home. God fully knows that there can never be real fulfillment and joy away from home.

From this parable we realize that we have a much better inheritance than “earthly treasures” that does not run out. We do not fully understand what eternal life means. We have no idea that this is to be preferred thousand times over than what we can have in this life. That is why Jesus had to come and reveal our real inheritance; moreover, he came to tell us the greatness of God’s heart. The Greek word salvation or “soteria”includes wholeness, completeness, peace, health, welfare, safety, prosperity, rest, harmony and perfect satisfaction.

The prodigal son reminds us that when we try to find happiness and contentment in the world, we will always be disappointed. The things in the world are not life-giving and will always leave us empty. Its joys are short-lived and transitory. The true joy that never fades is found at home. The loving embrace of the Father is something worth running back. His love is the source of our wealth, our dignity and peace.

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