What Jesus Did! 'While a Long Distance Away' — Luke 15:20-24

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"So the son left and went to his father. While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. The father felt sorry for his son. So the father ran to him. He hugged and kissed his son. The son said, 'Father, I sinned against God and have done wrong to you. I am not good enough to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Hurry! Bring the best clothes and dress him. Also, put a ring on his finger and good shoes on his feet. Bring our fat calf. We will kill it and have plenty to eat. Then we can have a party! My son was dead, but now he is alive again! He was lost, but now he is found!' So they began to have a party."
— Luke 15:20-24
Illustration of Luke 15:20-24 —  While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him coming.

Key Thought

I love the sentence, "And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming." The Father was longing for his son to return. He was waiting for his son to return. He was ready for his son's return. Our Father in heaven is filled with love and compassion for us. He sees our hearts and runs to meet us when we turn our hearts toward home—no matter how far we may have strayed. How far is your heart from the Father? I'm not talking about how things look on the outside to others. His concern is with your heart. Is it turned toward him? Is it open to being honest with him about your rebellion and sin? He is not looking to punish you, but to bring you home ... to bring you back to life ... to have the party begin.

Today's Prayer

Loving God and compassionate Father, thank you for knowing me and loving me. Look into my heart and examine my inmost thoughts. I am sorry for my sin. Thank you for making me a welcome child in your house and drawing me close to you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Then Jesus said, "A man had two sons. The younger son said to his father, 'Give me my part of all the things we own!' So the father divided the wealth with his two sons. Then the younger son gathered up all that he had and left. He traveled far away to another country. There the son wasted his money living like a fool. He spent everything that he had. Soon after that, the land became very dry, and there was no rain. There was not enough food to eat anywhere in that country. The son was hungry and needed money. So he went and got a job with one of the people of that country. The man sent the son into the fields to feed pigs. The son was so hungry that he wanted to eat the food that the pigs were eating. But no person gave him anything. The boy realized that he had been very foolish. He thought, 'All of my father's servants have plenty of food. But I am here, almost dead because I have nothing to eat. I will leave and go to my father. I will say to him: Father, I sinned against God and have done wrong to you. I am not good enough to be called your son. But let me be like one of your servants.' So the son left and went to his father. "While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. The father felt sorry for his son. So the father ran to him. He hugged and kissed his son. The son said, 'Father, I sinned against God and have done wrong to you. I am not good enough to be called your son.' But the father said to his servants, 'Hurry! Bring the best clothes and dress him. Also, put a ring on his finger and good shoes on his feet. Bring our fat calf. We will kill it and have plenty to eat. Then we can have a party! My son was dead, but now he is alive again! He was lost, but now he is found!' So they began to have a party. "The older son was in the field. He came closer to the house. He heard the sound of music and dancing. So the older son called to one of the servant boys and asked, 'What does all this mean?' The servant said, 'Your brother has come back.Your father killed the fat calf to eat. Your father is happy because your brother came home safely!' The older son was angry and would not go in to the party. So his father went out to ask him to come in. The son said to his father, 'I have served you like a slave for many years! I have always obeyed your commands. But you never killed even a goat for me! You never gave a party for me and my friends. But your other son has wasted all your money on prostitutes. Then he comes home, and you kill the fat calf for him!' But the father said to him, 'Son, you are always with me. All that I have is yours too. We must be happy and have a party; because your brother was dead, but now he is alive. He was lost, but now he is found.'"

Luke 15:11-32

Related Scripture Readings

God, be merciful to me, because of your great loving kindness, because of your great mercy, erase all my sins. God, scrub away my guilt. Wash away my sins, Make me clean again! I know I sinned. I always see those sins. I did the things you say are wrong. God, you are the One I sinned against. I confess these things so people will know I am wrong, and you are right. Your decisions are fair.

Psalm 51:1-4

Lord, look at me and know my heart. Test me and know my thoughts. See if I have any evil thoughts. And guide me on the path that continues forever.

Psalm 139:23-24

So we will wait for the Lord. He helps us and he protects us. God makes us happy. We truly trust his holy name. Lord, we truly worship you! So show your great love for us.

Psalm 33:20-22

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.