“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.” (Luke 15:20)
How many of you would love to receive a gift that cost you nothing? No requirements, no reciprocation required! Nothing you could give or do would suffice! It is absolutely free.
This truth is found in the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-20. As the story unfolds we hear the younger son saying, “ Father, give to me the share of the estate that falls to me. So he divided his wealth between them.” (v. 11) With money in hand the younger son left home for a distant country where he lived it up and wasted his inheritance. Penniless and starving he hired himself out to a pig farmer. The only thing he had to eat were the “pods” that he was feeding to the pigs. (When I worked on the farm, we called that chore “slopping the hogs.” It was the lowest and most miserable job of the day.
The son thought to himself, this life is a bummer. Even my father’s paid servants are better off than I am! So why don’t I go back, admit I was wrong, and ask my dad to let me work for him?
Are there people today in that kind of situation? Like the Prodigal Son they are willing to admit their sin, but are doubtful as to how they will be received. Will they make the same mistake as the son, and think they must work in order to gain acceptance? Will they try to strike a bargain with God? The son decided to return and say, “I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.” (Luke 15:19)
Fortunately for the son, he never got to utter those words because his father was looking and waiting for him. When he saw him coming he compassionately ran and threw his arms around him and kissed him before the son could even utter a single word. The son’s acceptance by the father was offered “absolutely free.”
Prayer: Dear Lord, your grace is sufficient and free to all who will believe.