I imagine that when the fellas who translated the Bible came to the story of the prodigal son, there was a debate on what to title it.
I imagine there was much prayer and dialogue that ran late into the night. Coffee was brewed, biscotti laid out, music heatedly discussed until they found consensus in Ray LaMontagne’s “Till the Sun Turns Black.” Finally they came to an agreement. Then the archbishop/apostle/ leader guy stood, and, brushing the biscotti crumbs from his beard, he made his proclamation. Standing straight, shoulders back, chin up, and in a piercing nasal voice, he declared in high English, “Let this story heretofore be known as ‘The Prodigal Son.’”
“I am convinced that our true inheritance as believers has nothing to do with money, land, or possessions of any kind. It’s simply our Father’s love revealed.”
Yeah, I have no idea how it got its title, but if I’d been there we would have listened to Bon Iver. But more to the point, I would have argued ardently and well that the story be titled, “The Good Father.”
I am not saying they got it wrong, so please don’t go telling everyone that Ray LaMontagne was a bad choice or that I think the Bible is flawed. I’m just saying I think that title is a little misleading as the story isn’t fully about either of the sons but about the father.
The fact is that every story Jesus ever told was about a good father. Jesus’s very existence, every breath He took, revealed the good Father.
I am convinced that our true inheritance as believers has nothing to do with money, land, or possessions of any kind. It’s simply our Father’s love revealed.
“I believe that it was at this moment that the younger son first truly saw his father as his dad; it was the first time the son discovered his father’s true nature—love.”
The younger son came home ready to beg for a place with the servants. Before he could even get to the front door, his dad is running out to meet him. Before he could even begin to say what he had probably rehearsed the whole way home, his dad is hugging and kissing and overwhelming him with affection.
I believe that it was at this moment that the younger son first truly saw his father as his dad; it was the first time the son discovered his father’s true nature—love. And that is the moment he actually received his inheritance. Our inheritance is only available through a revelation of our Father’s true nature. And our inheritance looks like, feels like, and in fact is intimacy.
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Jason Clark is a writer, speaker and lead communicator at A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Website: www.afamilystory.org