Today’s reading is Luke 15.
Jesus drew crowds of people. The Pharisees watched Him closely looking for a reason to accuse Him. They did not like the people’s response to Jesus, and they especially disliked Jesus’ response to the people. They did not want Jesus to “welcome sinners and eat with them.” (Verse 2)
So Jesus told these parables, recorded in this chapter, to give them a glimpse of the loving heart of God: the parable of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. Jesus cared about those lost and in the dangerous grip of Satan. Like the shepherd of the lost sheep, He would go out of His way to bring them back to safety.
Jesus values us so much in our lost condition. Like the woman searching her house diligently for the one lost coin rejoicing when she found it, He pursues us. He rejoices greatly when we are found and safe in relationship with Him.
Our Heavenly Father is much like the father in the Parable of the Prodigal son. The son willfully, with no regard for the broken heart of His father, chose to rebel. He chose to leave the safety and provision of his father’s house. He chose to make bad decision after bad decision, partying and squandering his inheritance. He reaped the consequences of all the wrong he had done living lost, alone, hungry and eating pig slop. Then the thought enters his mind to go back to his dad in hopes of mercy, possibly being accepted back as hired hand. This father, however, welcomed him back as a son. He threw a feast. He rejoiced because his son he thought was dead, was alive.
This is God’s heart towards us! This is the heart behind Christmas! I have been the lost sheep, alone and scared. I have been the lost coin, searched for and pursued by my loving God. I have most definitely been the prodigal son. I have made bad choice after bad choice. Only to find myself far from my Heavenly Father, eating pig slop, the fruit of my choices, trying to survive. But God set into motion, long before all the bad choices I have made, a plan. On Christmas night the plan arrived. He worked through the ages to bring the arrival of Jesus into our world. He went to great lengths to come to us so we could come to Him. He desired to “Welcome sinners and eat with them.” Jesus is still desiring to welcome and to eat with sinners today.
In Revelations 3:20, Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” May we open the door of our hearts and let Him come in! There is no better time to do this than Christmas when we celebrate our God who came to us so we could come to Him!