The Father Ran
The young son leaves home (Luke 15 ) – a deliberate choice by the son, to keep his father from interfering with his choices.He wastes his inheritance, blows it all on wasteful living.
His father pauses from time to time throughout the day, looks away toward the horizon, tears blurring his eyes, longing for the familiar silhouette of his son, returning from the far country
About this time the father hears reports about the famine in the far country, and he wonders about his boy.The father, ever watchful for his son, dejectedly gazes across the fields, watching the path home as he has done hundreds of times. He spies a figure, a familiar silhouette—could it be his lost son, returning home? And there he breaks into a run
When you know the background behind the story of the prodigal son, the act of the father running takes on meaning
Traditional Middle Eastern men, wearing long robes, never run in public, because to do so he would have to hitch up his tunic so he would not trip. If he did this, it would show his bare legs. In that culture, it was humiliating and shameful for a man to show his bare legs. This was unheard of!
So, here’s the question: If it was shameful for a man to run in that culture, why did the father run when his son returned to him? What motivated him to shame himself?
The father runs and shames himself in an effort to get to his son before the community gets to him.
When a Jewish man who had left the community, went and lived with the Gentiles, and lost his wealth came back, he would go to the city gates and the older men would throw down a pot in front of the young man – symbolising the broken relationship that now existed between the community and this ‘sinner.’ The Kezazah Ceremony as it is called separated him from his family, his community, and his faith.
The father runs so that his son does not experience the shame and humiliation of their taunting and rejection. There would be no” Kezazah” ceremony; there would be no rejecting this son — despite what he has done.
He gives himself in costly love by running to his son at the edge of the village. The father takes the full shame that should have fallen upon his son and clearly show to the entire community that his son is welcome back home.
Friend, can you see here the amazing application for our own lives?
God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8NLT)
Our heavenly Father has taken our shame through his Son, Jesus, who willingly endured the cross on our behalf. He took our sins’ shame so that we would not have to. As a result, we can be forgiven, restored and accepted.
We do not have to fear going home to our Father and to confess our sins, no matter what we have done, or how many times we have done it.
Sajani Susan George