The Word Among Us

Lent 2024 Issue

The Prodigal Father

A Compassionate and Merciful God

The Prodigal Father: A Compassionate and Merciful God

"A man had two sons” (Luke 15:11). It’s fitting that Jesus should begin his most famous parable by leading off with the man who is the father of these two sons. As many commentators have noted, this parable may just as easily be called “the parable of the prodigal father” because it’s really about him. It’s why Jesus told it to the scribes and Pharisees: he wanted them to understand the heart of his heavenly Father. He is a God who lavishes his love and mercy on us so generously that it can almost scandalize us, as this story surely did for those who first heard it.

Sometimes, though, our view of God can become distorted. We might not think of him as a generous God or one who delights in us, his son...


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