I highly recommend a book by Henri J.M. Nouwen called " The Return Of The Prodigal Son". He takes the painting by Rembrandt and looks at it from 3 perspectives. The son, the father, and the older brother. I think I have mentioned this before, but Luke 15:11-32 is one of my favorite stories in the bible. Why? Because I am in it. I have been a prodigal son. I grew up in a Christian home, but ignored everything I was taught and did much like the son in the parable. It wasn't until I was 30 that I came to my senses and returned to the Father (Heavenly Father).
If you look at the painting, you will see how tattered, worn out and weary the son appears when he returns. The father, even though the son hurt him and left, shows tremendous compassion and love for his son. In the parable you will read that the father does not condemn, ridicule or embarras the son. What does he do? Luke 15:20 "So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." Wow, how much do you think he loved his son? Luke 15:22-24 "Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and snadals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again: he was lost and has been found." and they began to celebrate.
See the gentleness in the fathers face. That is how God receives us when we come to him. If you believe that and you have been running away from Him, turn around like this son and run to him. I promise he will run to you with open arms and kiss you (as in the parable).
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