Father Take Me Back..!

A team invited me to give a talk to prisoners at a prison in Mumbai. What I saw that day as I sat with the prisoners was a sense of sadness. I had expected tough gangsters to be strutting around ready to pounce on me and hold me hostage, but instead, all over were men sitting by themselves weeping.
“They weep, because they are sorry for what they have done!” said one of the leaders of the group, “Their whole life has changed because of one act of madness, but more than anything else they feel they will never be forgiven for what they have done!”
Like them there are many of us who commit dreadful acts in a fit of temper or moments of illogical thinking and find no forgiveness from friends, relatives!
That day in very simple Hindi, I narrated a story Jesus had told the crowds that followed him, 2000 years ago about God’s forgiveness: A certain man had two sons. When the younger told his father, “I want my share of your estate now, instead of waiting until you die!” his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and took a trip to a distant land, and there wasted all his money on parties and prostitutes. About the time his money was gone a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve.
When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, “At home even the hired men have food enough and to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man.”
So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming, and was filled with loving pity and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
His son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and you, and am not worthy of being called your son.”
But his father said to the slaves, “Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. And a jeweled ring for his finger; and shoes! And kill the calf we have in the fattening pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has returned to life. He was lost and is found!”
There was not a dry eye in that prison when I’d finished, as they suddenly knew that whatever crime they had committed, big, small or medium, could be forgiven, all they had to do was to look up and say, “Heavenly Father, please take me back!”
Would you like to say the same? Because, whatever you’ve done, He will..!

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14 thoughts on “Father Take Me Back..!”

  1. A famine was enough to bring the son to senses. God can use any means to bring us back to our senses – a famine, earthquake, drought, cyclone, tsunami, locusts, pandemic etc. Are we ready to listen what God wants to communicate through these events?

  2. True …. it’s upto the son to come to senses….once realised, he turns back and our Heavenly Father is ever ready to receive 😃

  3. That’s an interesting article, Bob. Men in jail realising their mistakes too late. In such situations, nothing can be done for them since they’ve broken the law. Society should step in and help them get rehabilitated. There’s a parable of visiting prisons and lending them a helping hand. Are we ready to trust them and help them?

    I don’t agree with you Bob, drawing a parallel with the parable of the prodigal son. Keep aside all that was taught to you over the years and think anew. We’ve been taught that this parable is about a father’s undying love for his younger son. Is that what the parable meant to convey? Think deeply. The younger son asks for his share of property and the father promptly divides the property between his two sons. The younger son sells his property. (That was known what he will do). After a few days, he packs everything and leaves for a distant land wasting all his money. (This too was known). To cut a long story short, he wastes his money, left with nothing. He is reduced to a state looking after pigs and eating what they were given. Finally, he comes home to be given a rousing and royal welcome, where even the elder son is not invited.

    Couldn’t this problem been avoided? The father should’ve put his foot down and refused to divide the property. In my opinion, it’s not the prodigal elder son or the prodigal younger son. It’s the prodigal father. He is responsible for the whole unsavory episode.

    1. Interesting view point Sam, though one must remember always that when Jesus used a parable, it was to explain in simplicity one aspect of His sermon, which here was about the fact that whatever we did, God would always welcome us back! Like I said, yours is an interesting view point Sam, and knowing your powerful analytical mind, I can see where it’s coming from!

      1. Keller wrote a book,The Prodigal God. He says that prodigal means extravagant and the father spent lavishly on the younger lost son. A chorus describes the reckless love of God.

      1. I agree with you, Ayesha. The elder son is at home obedient to the father, and he’s taken for granted. The younger son, demands for his share of the property. It was well within the rights of the father to refuse splitting the property. But the father divides the property and the younger son has a blast with his share. The wealth built up by hard work has gone up in smoke. On return, the younger son gets a royal welcome whereas the elder son is neglected. There are three principal characters in this story. The father and his two sons. Right from childhood have heard this parable several times. Some have interpreted that the younger son is at fault and some have said that the elder son is at fault. In my opinion, it’s the father who is at fault for dividing the property as demanded by the younger son.

        As Ayesha has aptly pointed out, it proves what Shakespeare said “Some rise by sin, others by virtue fall”.

  4. Very good article! Well written!This parable is spoken alot to convert people’s hearts to make them realise that we do not have a punishing God who only waits with a stick in hand to point out our mistakes..He understands our weaknesses although He also demands justice..even saints were sinners..if he expected us to commit no sins..Heaven would be empty..all He is asking with open arms is for us to come back to Him..no matter what..360 degree turn around after being a sinner..Repent and come back..and we are accepted as Child of A Forgoving God again..made whole..with ring..sandals and robe
    .sonship..

  5. What is impossible for man..is possible for God..He is our.Creator….the elder brother too demanded justice..punishment..thank God our Father does not think like man thinks.

  6. Loved your article as always. True forgiveness frees the forgiver and the forgiven. It brings back the love and healthier relationship. No one in the world is perfect. Here the son has realised his mistake & father has rightly accepted him

  7. We certainly serve a very merciful Father who is ever willing to forgive all our sins. Tho your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. This is the promise our God has given us.

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