Let’s take a closer look at the parable of the lost son in order to gain some understanding of who a father is. Remember we are looking at relational attributes of the Father. Jesus’ illustration of the relationship between a Father and his two sons in the parable of the lost son (Luke 15:11-32) can give us a better understanding.
It is in the context of a relationship between a father and a son that we can best identify the characteristics of a father. We are told in this story that a certain man had 2 sons and one of the sons requested his share of the estate. So the Father divided his livelihood to both sons and the younger son left his family to a distant land and wasted all his money on wild living. When he later came to himself, he said and I quote verse 17 from the NKJV “How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger”. The son later returned home. The father was moved with compassion and welcomed him. Amen.
i) A father is one who acknowledges the presence of the children and caters to their concerns (the younger son wanted his share of the estate, although his approach was not the best, his father attended to him).
ii) A father treats his children with love and justice (he divided his livelihood between his two sons).
iii) A father forgives (although the son squandered his livelihood by living a wild life, the father was still moved with compassion, welcomed him home and even celebrated his return with a feast).
In an attempt to illustrate to you the relational attribute of God as Father, the parable of the lost son amongst many things is a reflection of a relationship between a son and a father and also a representation of a relationship between our heavenly father and His children. When we relate with Him as God, remember that He is not just your creator but He is also your Father. This statement can only be true and understood by those who live in the kingdom.
When Jesus was baptized, we are told that a voice spoke from heaven saying, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. I believe that was the voice of God the Father.
Matthew 3:16-17 (NIV)
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
During Jesus’ ministry here on earth He often referred to God as Abba Father. When you relate with the Father it is imperative you understand that He does not just want to relate with you as your creator but as your father. Scripture makes it clear to us that in order to be a child of God and call Him Abba Father, you need to be adopted into the family of God.
John 1:12-13 (NIV)
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
We see that God and Jesus began by setting the standard of Father – son relationship (which is a kingdom approach). Jesus later illustrated this relationship during His ministry using parables by way of emphasizing the importance of Father/son relationship. So, I encourage you do likewise. If Jesus is not Lord of your life, consider making Him Lord of your life so that you can be adopted into the family and begin enjoying the Father/son relationship. Amen.