God’s Seeking Love

MEMORY VERSE: “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” —Luke 19:10

LUKE 15:11-24

THE Parable of the Prodigal Son follows other parables in which the love and mercy of the Heavenly Father are emphasized, and the great joy which is expressed when those who go astray repent of their wrongdoing. First is the Parable of the Lost Sheep. Here the shepherd leaves his flock which is safely in the fold and goes out to seek for a sheep which is lost. When found, there is great rejoicing. Jesus’ application of this was, “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.”—Luke 15:1-7

Then follows the Parable of the Ten Pieces of Silver, one of which was lost. Here again there is great rejoicing when the lost is found, and Jesus explained that this rejoicing extended to the heavenly courts, “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”—Luke 15:8-10

Then comes the Parable of the Prodigal Son, in which there is also great rejoicing when the prodigal returns home and displays a genuine spirit of repentance. It would seem that the main lesson of all three of these parables is to teach the loving and merciful attitude of the Heavenly Father toward those who are “lost” or who, for one reason another, have strayed away from the fold of divine love and care.

God’s “seeking” love, as mentioned in the title of our lesson is clearly indicated in the search for the lost sheep and the lost coin. It appears also in the prodigal son parable in the sense that the father, probably on the lookout for his son, sees him afar off and hurries to meet, forgive, and embrace him. The importance of this quality of divine love cannot be over-emphasized. It was not a matter of reluctantly forgiving and receiving the boy, but a rejoicing in his repentance, and a demonstration of the fullness of forgiveness.

From one standpoint we could think of the prodigal son as representing the entire human race which, through sin, had strayed away from the Creator, the Heavenly Father. The Scriptures indicate that since then the Creator has been “seeking” the return of the prodigal, and making every necessary preparation for his repentance and recovery.

In this “seeking” the Creator sent his own beloved Son into the world to be the Redeemer and Savior of mankind. That precious text, John 3:16, reminds us of this. It says that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

And what a price this was for the Father to pay to secure the return of the prodigal! There is not only the fact that the Son left the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, and was made flesh. But there was also the love represented in the Father’s willingness to see his Son suffer and die, that repentant sinners might return to him and receive life.

One of the outstanding promises of this great future time of reconciliation and blessing is the one made to Abraham that through his “Seed” all the families of the earth would be blessed. (Gen. 12:3) Confirmations of this promise continued to be made throughout Old Testament times. In the New Testament Jesus is identified as primarily being the “Seed” of promise, and in this his faithful followers are associated.—Gal. 3:8,16,27-29

The work of gathering from the world this larger seed of Abraham, and preparing them to be associated with Jesus in the future work of blessing, has required the entire Gospel era, and still continues. God’s Holy Spirit has operated to accomplish this work, and this is a further demonstration of divine interest in and love for the fallen human race. It is another sense in which the love of God has been “seeking” the repentance and recovery of the human race from death.

In the end divine love and mercy shall have conquered, for the Scriptures describe a time when “mercy and truth are met together; [and when] righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”—Ps. 85:10


What is the principal lesson taught in the prodigal son parable?

How has the Heavenly Father been seeking his lost “son?”

When will divine love and mercy prevail throughout the earth?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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