As much as we may try to understand it, the love of the Father remains a mystery to us. Even if we see a perfect example, our view of love is distorted by our past experiences with humans, who cannot love fully and unconditionally.
In chapter 14, we saw Jesus dining with the Pharisees, which did not go so well. Whether they were trying to persuade Jesus over to their side or just to figure out where he stood, by chapter 15, they have a much better idea of what they think of him. Now, they are grumbling about his choice of friends.
In answer to their questions, Jesus gave them three illustrations, not of the Father's laws, justice, or equality, but of the Father's love: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son. The last story, that of the prodigal son, is so personal and applicable for all of us.
We may have stories similar to that of the son in the story or we may come from Christian homes. Still, how many of us have not taken our demands to God trying to trade, beg, or steal blessings out of him before his good time? We want our inheritance now. We pursue our blessed life here on earth, forgetting about the loving Father who so eagerly awaits our return to his mercy.
This story applies to the Dong people as well. As they hear and see this message through the Jesus Film, let us all pray for these words to sink deep within their hearts. May the Lord help them to understand how he cares for them individually. For those Christians who have strayed from the Lord, may it be said, "he was lost, and is found".
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