The Father’s Heart: A love story told by Jesus – Part 1

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…

This is most likely, the most well-known Bible verse in the world. But what may be less well known about these words is that they were spoken by Jesus Himself. One message by Pastor Joseph Prince that touches my heart every time I hear it is one that was told by Jesus about His and our own Heavenly Father. May it bless you as you follow this message of Jesus’ love story to you and me today.

Luke 15: 11-12

The He [Jesus] said, ‘A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.” So he divided to them his livelihood.

Most of the time this story is told in terms of it being about the prodigal son but Jesus starts the story with ‘a certain man’. This man, a father, is the hero of this story. When the younger son asked for his inheritance, in the context of the Jewish culture of the day the inheritance goes to the son only once the father passes away. This request was tantamount to saying to his father, ‘I cannot wait for you to die, I want my inheritance now.’ The father was being totally rejected by his son. Despite this he divided to them, both of the sons, his inheritance.  The older brother according to culture got two thirds, the younger, got one third. 1

Luke 15: 13-15

And not too many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

To end up feeding pigs, is as low as you could get, especially for a Jew. He had no money, no friends nor any food left.

Luke 15: 16-19

And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods [vegetation] that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything. But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!  I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants.”

At this point, this son did not care about his father’s heart. He was hungry and wanted food. He did not have repentance in His heart for the sake of His father.1


Luke 15: 20-21

And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.

And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

Luke 15: 22-24

But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry [party!]

The son did not have time to finish his rehearsed speech to his father, he didn’t have time to say, ‘…make me like one of your hired servants.’  Why is this? Because the son wanted to earn his livelihood from his father and Jesus is saying, by telling us this story, that God our Father, will never let usearn His goodness, His love, His joy, His peace.1

It was the Father, who was rejected and told in essence to drop dead. Instead he says, ‘Let’s party!’

Luke 15: 24-25

For this my son was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing.

28: But he [the older son] was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.

31: And he [the father] said to him [the older son], ‘Son you are always with me and all that I have is yours.’

Jesus is showing in this story that whether we are like the younger son who didn’t really care about his Father or we are like the older brother, focused on our performance and our serving, He asks us: ‘Why are you now trying to earn what I am freely and lavishly trying to give you?’ 1

Ephesians 1:7

In Him [Jesus Christ] we HAVE redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

He forgives our sins not according to any amount of good we can ever do, nor according to the poverty of our confession, penance and repentance; but according to the riches of His unearned and undeserved grace. 1

The only thing God wants from us today is consent to let Him love us, to lavish his extravagant love on us. Let Jesus love you today.1


Continued in Part 2.


1. See The Father’s Love For You. Joseph Prince 2007.