And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)
Today’s article is the last in the series about the Culture of Jesus. Our Lord established a culture and environment around him that was safe. It was safe to learn, to be wrong, to ask questions, to step out, to be different, to work, etc. The final thought is this:
In Jesus, it was safe to come home.
Read Luke 15 and meditate upon it today. Jesus loved every soul. Every single person is precious to him. That is the meaning of the parables of Luke 15. When a person comes back home, heaven rejoices. No matter how dirty and stinky the soul is that returns, heaven throws a party.
But I want you to read the parable of the prodigal son and consider the older brother who ended up outside of the house. He was not happy at all that his brother came home. He couldn’t even call him his brother. When he looked at his younger brother, all he saw was failure and disappointment. You can probably imagine the look of disgust upon the older brother’s face. I want you to picture the home and church being run by the older brother mentality from Luke 15. Would it be a safe place to which you could come home? Nope. But how many of us have been that older brother?
With Jesus, it is safe to come home. You and I have wrecked our lives with sin and brokenness, but once we come to our senses and start walking toward Jesus, He runs to greet us. Even when we stink of sin, and the pig mud of our lifestyle is all over our clothes and skin. He is not repulsed. He hugs us, kisses us, weeps, rejoices and throws a party in heaven.
One final thought, consider Peter. Can you put yourself in the shoes of Peter to consider how broken, depressed and miserable he was for betraying Jesus? Peter cussed and swore that he never knew Jesus, repeatedly! But what did Jesus do? After the resurrection, heaven singled Peter out by name. The angels sent the women specifically to Peter. Jesus wants to see you. Our Lord was betrayed and denied by Peter, but he reached out in grace, love and forgiveness to help Peter know he was safe to come home.
But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” (Mark 16:7)