I will arise and go to my Father – Luke 15:18
Remember those dreaded words, “Wait till I tell your father” or “When your father comes home, you are really going to get it” or something similar? I remember them a lot and believe you me, I was not thinking when I heard them that I should get up and go to the father instead of waiting on him, I was thinking about going in a totally different direction.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is probably Jesus’s most famous and most discussed parables. Wonderful books have been written about the parable including Nouwen’s, The Return of the Prodigal Son. We learn to read the parable from the respect of the Son, the brother, and the father, but I wonder have you considered the tale from the perspective of the teller, Jesus. What was he trying to tell us? And is there a different message out there we have missed entirely? Most parables contain layer after layer of messages, have we peeled back the artichoke enough to get to its heart?
One possibility, one message, less complicated than most, is that Jesus is telling us how to approach the father when we have gone astray? He is saying — simply “arise and return.” If we admire the father in the parable for taking the son back, why would we think less of God? Underneath all the analysis of the parable we should not lose sight of a core message – “arise and go” to the Father. Until we take that step all the glorious lessons and events that follow cannot begin.