“So his father went out and pleaded with him.”
The father is rejoicing in the celebrations to mark his younger son’s return. However he then hears that his elder son is refusing to come inside. Going outside to where the man is fuming the father bears with him whilst he expresses his anger and disgust and pleads with him to recognise all the family relationships and to join the celebration.
There is no indication in the story that the son calms down and enters the house. That is because the invitation and plea is in fact directed to the Pharisees and teachers of the law who were listening. They were the ones portrayed by Jesus in that role and the answer was for them to give. They did so by turning away from Him and plotting to kill Him. In doing so they turned their back on the Father and on His home as well.
It is a stunning picture. God walking out to plead with His representatives only to meet with their hostility, self-importance and rejection. It gives warmth, life and new light to Jesus great words,
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Here is the Almighty God who will give everything to bring us back into His forgiveness and love. He has given us His Son and, through Him, has reached out to plead with us and to even wash our feet.
Whilst He is not a God to be trifled with He is at the same time a God whose love we have not even begun to recognise and accept.
In what way might God be pleading with you today – because He does not wish you to miss out on the fullness and reality of His love?
Open my eyes Lord to the wonder of Your love for me – and help me to more fully accept, trust and live in it. Amen.