All over the social media and facebook I see much praise from family members going out to the fathers in their lives. My heart goes out to all of you who had and have good fathers. The truth is that in spite of much of the father`s day praises out there, many of us have a hard time on father`s day. We have a giant shortage of men who step up, provide, and lead their families with full responsibility. My heart goes out to those with fathers who abused them, have no relationship with them, or who have passed as away.
For those of us who are fathers, pastors, or bosses at our jobs, the fact is that the gospel records through the life of Jesus what a good father looks like.
In Luke 15 two sons received a share of property that was divided fairly unto them. While the older son did everything right with his share, the younger did not. He foolishly used all that he had on himself and ended up broke and sleeping on the street with pigs.
The younger son came to a place while living the street life where he could see himself as he really was inside and came home repentant. He didn`t come home looking for something either. He was preparing to ask his father to work as a servant because he felt unworthy to be his son.
But here is where we see what a truly good father looks like. The father in this story does not kick his son back to the curb. He does not put him in slavery and rebuke him for being so stupid. He actually gets up and runs which was dishonorable for an old man to do in those days and meets his son who was far off.
He tells everybody that his son who “never mind that he lost everything I gave him and dishonored my name in front of everyone,” was lost and is now found. This father knew that it would take this son losing everything before he could find himself as he truly was. Here we see a father who probably waited up night after night praying and looked over the hill hour after hour waiting and hoping that his wretched and despicable son would return.
The father had the best wine brought out and the best fattened calf slaughtered and they enjoyed music with aged wine and hot steak.
But the older brother came in from the field. The one who had done everything right. The one who saw no need for forgiveness. The one who had earned his way. When he saw that the father had given the best of his labor to celebrate a son who had earned nothing he was enraged with jealousy and refused to party.
The story ends with the father inviting the older son into the party after explaining his heart. His son was lost and is found. The Pharisees whom Jesus had given this parable to were enraged because Jesus offered himself to the broken the poor, the prostitutes, and those hungry for and in need of grace.
We are in need of fathers like this now more than ever. Fathers who will not only give their deserving sons but give their whole heart and labor into their lost son for the sake of him coming home.
We need men would give anything to see their children stand before God, justified by Christ, having given up the temporary love of this world.
The truth is that the father in this story is Jesus. And you are one of the two sons or maybe both. And both sons desperately needed this father`s love. The difference was that one wanted it more.
Jesus is a father who leaves nine-nine good sheep to find one lost sheep. I want to be that kind of father to my children. What kind of father do you want to be. I urge you this father`s day, be like the good Father. Be like Jesus.