The Father’s Extravagant and Compassionate Love

Michael Knowles, describing the father, who represents the Father, in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), writes,

“The extravagance of the father’s gestures is as outrageous as the scandalous selfishness of the son’s previous conduct.”

According to Jesus, God’s compassion amounts to an offer more profligate than any wayward child, for it is the longing of a parent who cannot forget the children to whom he or she has given life. Although the younger son has done everything in his power to break his father’s heart, in the end he fails to do so, for he discovers that his father is willing to bear more shame, sorrow, and loss than the son is able to inflict.

Michael P. Knowles. The Unfolding Mystery of the Divine Name: The God of Sinai in Our Midst (Kindle Locations 942-944). Kindle Edition.

Knowles gives seven ways the father of the parable shows how God’s grace is outrageously more abundant than our sin (Romans 5:20),

First, he runs to meet his wayward son. Second, the father embraces and, third, kisses him, public gestures not only of greeting but also (in this case) of forgiveness. Fourth, the father orders that his son be honored with the best garment in the house; fifth, he orders a ring for the son’s finger, and, sixth, he provides sandals for his feet. Seventh and finally, the father orders a celebratory feast. A “fattened calf” cannot remain in that state for long; it quickly grows to maturity, all the more so for having been fed so well. It can only be that for as long as his younger son has been absent the father has fattened each calf to which his cows have given birth, each time hoping against hope to make a joyful banquet of it.

The extravagance of the father’s gestures is as outrageous as the scandalous selfishness of the son’s previous conduct.

(Kindle Locations 933-938). Kindle Edition.

1 thought on “The Father’s Extravagant and Compassionate Love

  1. Dear BJ,
    Thank you for your recent permission to include your piece “7 Surprising (and Negative) Effects of Porn” in the 2013 ChurchLeaders’ Top 100 eBook. The electronic version of the book has been so well-received, we’d like to publish it in hard-copy form to make it more accessible to other church leaders. We cannot proceed with this project without your permission to publish your piece in book form. Please let us know if this is agreeable to you.
    As a thank-you for your kindness, we’d like to offer you a copy of the book for your use. If you’d like to receive a copy, please provide us with an appropriate mailing address. Thank you again for your consideration, and we await your reply.
    Ashley Eiman
    Web Integration Coordinator
    Toll Free 800.991.6011 ext. 3297
    5550 Tech Center Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80919

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