Lavish Love

One of my favorite Biblical stories has always been the parable of the prodigal son.  I have always related at times to both sons in the story.  Many Christians focus on the sons’ attitudes and choices; however, today I want to focus in on who I think the true protagonist of this story is…. the father.  The term prodigal means lavish or excess.  Most of us when reading this story think of the lavish lifestyle choices that the younger son chooses that eventually lead him to destruction and loss.  On the other hand, some may see the older son’s desire for a lavish celebration honoring him for all of his hard work.  But the father in this story is truly the most lavish one.  When the 1st son left and asked for his inheritance early, he was basically saying to a Jewish father, “I wish you were dead.” But this father loves his son while he is walking away from him.  He waits at the end of the road even while his son is “far off.” This father is looking…he is watching… and he even bolts and runs after him.

Jesus is telling a series of 3 stories as outcasts were surrounding him. Religious leaders were also sitting nearby.  The religious leaders hearing these stories could not fathom that the son of God, the Messiah, would let outcasts be near him much less love them in a lavish way.   Slowly the lavish love of God is revealed story by story. Stories like a shepherd who leaves 99 in his flock to go after one and the woman who has 10 silver coins and tears up her house to find the one that is missing, and ending with you have no idea how much rejoicing heaven does when one sinner repents.  Who loves like this? Who takes the risk on even an outcast, the untouchable? Only someone who loves excessively that is who.   Jesus says this is the God we serve.

As we enter the Easter season,  we don’t want to miss out on the lavish father who sacrificed his son, and who is still waiting at the end of the road. All of us may have a loved one or a friend who is still a long way off. They maybe haven’t reached the pig farm, which by the way would be the worst possible scenario for a Jew of this time period.  Rock bottom hasn’t happened yet, but eventually, they will get there without God.  The Bible says the wages of sin are death. Maybe rock bottom is spiritual, maybe it’s relational, or maybe it’s financial. I pray that the moment might come for you to tell the story of the lavish love of God. The prodigal story.

Maybe you are discouraged and feel there is no hope for your loved one.  I want you to know that there is a god who is waiting, who is working in ways that you can’t see, and who is coming up with a lavish plan because that is just the kind of God we serve.

Be encouraged,



Author: Jessica Cox

Jessica teaches high school English and Creative Writing at Millennium High School in Goodyear, AZ. She is married and has a daughter in first grade. She has been attending VC since 2004.

One thought on “Lavish Love”

  1. How touching. I remember when I first heard and realized that the God of the universe loved me like that—it does seem unbelievable. Sometimes when praying for others it seems unbelievable again, but that’s the way He is, so lavish with His love (which is so unexpected for us humans). Thanks for the reminder entering this season.

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