Discipleship Minute #20

Read Genesis 1:25-27, 3:1-6.

Jesus of Nazareth told many parables to get His point across. Perhaps the most well-known of those parables was the story of the lost son, or, as the Prodigal Son. This son, although he had a good relationship with his father, wanted to be in control of his life. Asking for and receiving his inheritance, the son squandered it all. Seeing his plight, the son resolved to return to his father and ask to be his slave. Jesus says that the father saw the son from a good distance (meaning he was watching and waiting for the son’s return) and ran to him, embracing the wayward child.

This is an interesting portrait of the relationship of God to man. God created man in His image, meaning that there are certain qualities in man which represent our unique position as the steward of God’s creation and the pinnacle of God’s creative activity. Man sought to be in control and be like God. He, thus, descended into sin. In the Hebrew language, “sin” is an archery term which means to “miss the mark” or “fall short of the goal.” Sin is pervasive, like a virus that infects human beings which leads to separation from God in this life and divine judgement in the next.

Kenneth Samples, Christian apologist and philosopher, says that “One good reason for embracing the truth of historic Christianity is that the faith seems to have a realistic understanding of the nature of human beings.” We were made in the image of God. We are marred by sin. Even as followers of Jesus, we are still enticed and tempted to sin. The hymn writer Robert Robinson said,

“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.”

But he concludes,

“Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.”

But, even when we sin and fall short of God’s standard for our lives, He is waiting like the father in the parable, willing to take us back when we repent. He is willing to restore us, based not on our work, but on the work of Christ on the cross to restore us.

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