What Jesus Did! 'The Loving Father' — Luke 15:25-30

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"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!'"
— Luke 15:25-30
Illustration of Luke 15:25-30 —  Your father is happy because your brother came home safely!

Key Thought

There is no doubt that the behavior of the older son is horrible and selfish. "I've been working hard (lit. "slaving") for you all these years ..." reveals his attitude about his service to his father. He doesn't see what the younger son has discovered; it is better to be a slave in the father's house than to be without the father! What is amazing is the grace of the father. He loves both sons. He has given the inheritance to both sons. So he does what a father would have never been expected to do in that day: he goes out to console his pouting and selfish son and invite him to the banquet. Jesus' point is that our Heavenly Father doesn't want any child to be lost—not the rebellious child and not the self-righteous child. The bottom line is that the Father loves each and every one of us and wants us all to be a part of his celebration of grace no matter the place we are now!

Today's Prayer

Father, thank you for your unselfish and inexhaustible love. Without your grace I would be lost. With your grace, I give thanks in anticipation of the great celebration of your grace before your throne. In Jesus' name. 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

I mean that you are saved by grace. And you got that grace by believing. You did not save yourselves. It was a gift from God. No! You are not saved by the things you have done. So no person can boast {that he saved himself}.

Ephesians 2:8-9

"The master answered, 'You did right. You are a good servant that can be trusted. You did well with that small amount of money. So I will let you care for much greater things. Come and share my happiness with me.'

Matthew 25:21

God, you really blessed the king forever. When the king sees your face, it makes him very happy.

Psalm 21:6

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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.