Intimacy with Christ: Beholding and Running to the Father
I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
How true is the old saying, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” To the son in this parable- which Jesus told- the grass seemed oh so green on the other side of the tracks to him; if only, he had his inheritance, was released from his responsibilities, and then let go of to head down whichever road he decided to go down. And so- Down he went.
I just looked-up the word “prodigal” under several dictionaries and the whole idea of the word is one who freely tosses monies or resources to the wind wastefully, rashly, foolishly, and recklessly- with not a care in the world- until- the money is gone. From wine to women and wild parties- we get the idea that the “Prodigal Son” did it all- and then -ran out of monies and found no friend in sight to lift him up. If you had a fairly middle-class or even wealthy father who gave you all your inheritance and you just blew it all in two shakes of a lambs tail, how do you think he would feel, if he saw you come home in rags, dirt on your face with uncut hair and with dirty long fingernails? In this story the father was extraordinary. The money and wealth wasn’t what he valued- it was his son. Reader- God values you…so much as to give His Only Son Jesus Christ to “find you and to bring you home to the Father.”
To get to know Jesus intimately, we need to know this point and see it. That which was lost- the wayward son- was happily found coming back by his father from a road and a lifestyle he should have never gone down in the first place. So great is this sense of the Love of the Triune God- the Father- that John says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
Reader- behold the manner of love the Prodigal’s father had for him for while he was a long way off in the distance He “Ran To His Once Wayward Son.” He didn’t wait shaking his head with an “I told you so you no good child of mine.” That’s my God- this running after me kind of love. That’s the character and nature of Jesus- the good shepherd who also runs to us. That’s the presence of the Holy Spirit as “goodness and mercy (His sheep dogs)…follow me all the days of my life.” Yes- we are not only the apple of God’s eye- nor only the sheep of His pasture- we are the great King’s sons and daughters in and by Jesus Christ. The other day I meditated on this text and here is what I came-up with that is unique apart from what I just said here:
Then there are those lusts of the flesh- the wantonness eyes, the ever craving body, the pride/ego, the world’s what’s vogue-values of the times, and of course- The Father of Lies- that alien being- the Devil- luring and leading us away from The Christ. All these work together in chorus to buffet us when we have little and to get us to buffet (like an eatery buffet and over eating) when we have much. They try to counterfeit or overpower “Intimacy with Jesus.”
Eventually we- like the Prodigal- must run as fast as we can to the Father with pieces of corn-husks from the sin of the sow’s trough in-between our teeth with spiritually impoverished ribs showing that we knew not how to Steward Much- not to speak of “patiently persevere” when we had in our own guesstimation- Little to Nothing “at home-really- the mundane.”
Towards the end of the story of the Prodigal son I believe he- after two grand lessons (having little or just enough and having much)- was about to learn the last lesson: Balance and good Stewardship in everything. He was about to learn to Patiently Persevere at home with the father- with His eyes on his Father’s Will and Good Pleasure-A Watershed Moment.
Fortunately for his soul- he fixed not his eyes on his angry and jealous brother (as we are told about the brother in the parable)- as that would have been yet one more atrocity to his already mountain of moral atrocities. The Story of the Prodigal has the eye of his Father fixing His Eyes on his son and his son fixing his eyes on his Father. That is a Heavenly Principle…that is how it should be. That is balance- being content with even the mundane-predictable with “enough” and “enough to learn what stewardship really is” while “fixing your eyes on Jesus” for him who has seen and knows Jesus sees and knows the Father. Both have the same character and moral amplitude and temperament.
Even so, Lord Jesus- let this lesson today sink into the very sinew of my spirit and bones and let it be a guiding light- Your Word. Let us behold the Father that we may behold the Son- and so- be more Intimate with You.