Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 16 Oct 2016
So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
The Greek for “he kissed him” is translated variously in different translations, but in the Greek it means that he kissed him much, again and again.
Remember when Isaiah saw the Lord and the cherubims cried out “holy holy holy” (Is 6:3)! God’s love is great yet they didn’t cry out “love love love”.
It’s amazing that God would embrace His prodigal son and kiss him. He came from the pigs in his rags yet the father embraced and kissed him much. The filth of the pigs is terrible. When I read this text I thought it’s almost unbelievable that God came down from heaven, He who is thrice holy, and embrace the sinner and kiss him much.
This prodigal son was fallen into great of sin. His hiring to look after the pigs even has a sexual, that he possibly became homosexual. But he came to himself and decided that he would go back to his father and say that he is not worthy to be called his son. His repentance was deep and genuine. This wasn’t just a fleeting thought but so profound that he acted upon it. God, before whom we’re transparent, loved him and embraced and kissed him. He saw this son way off and far away. The stain of the pig dung was all over him, yet He embraced him and kissed him much.
Note that the father didn’t run after him in his sin and kissed him there while he was enjoying his sin. The father waited for him that he would see his sin, be convicted of his sin, his father’s money that he had squandered and his evil life.
His repentance was real and deep. It was so deep that he left his sin behind. Some claim to repent but still cling to their sin. Parents, don’t be misled by a frivolous repentance.
In the Bible we only ever read of God the Father and God the Son having compassion.
I don’t know if any human would ever be able to understand and clarify this love of God.
What does it mean that he kissed him? It shows God’s abundant love for us.
Madam Guyon, when she was imprisoned in a cold cell with openings in the wall where the ice cold wind came in, said that she instead experienced God’s warm love coming in and embracing her.
We can come before the Lord Jesus with our sins, humbling ourselves, and experience His forgiveness and warm love.
Some find it too difficult to humble themselves and confess their sins. But if they come and experience God’s love they are encouraged.
After the father embraced and kissed this prodigal son, he told the servants to wash him and dress him in the best clothes. He had the fattened calf slaughtered and they had a feast, so great was the father’s joy that the prodigal son had returned.
The elder brother returned from the field and enquired about the music and festive atmosphere. When he heard that his younger brother had returned and the feast was for him he was very angry and they told the father that his elder son was angry. The father went out to him and spoke with him. He told his father that he had never made such a feast for him though he had served him faithfully all his days. But the father answered him that it was as if he had received his younger brother from the dead and that is why he feasted. The elder son, so to say, became the prodigal.
Sermon audio in other languages:
KwaSizabantu Choir: JESUS IS DIE STERK VERLOSSER
KwaSizabantu Choir: WACH AUF!
KwaSizabantu Choir: Uthando lukaBaba