What if God Really Likes Us?

What if God Really Likes Us? January 10, 2013

Some powerful words from Peter Enns:

A lot of people have heard of “the parable of the prodigal (i.e., wasteful) son.” Some translations call it “the parable of the lost son,” which is better but not quite there. I prefer “the parable of the jerk loser son.”

When the son was still a far way off, rather than going back into his tent to play it cool (“Oh…You’re back. I hadn’t noticed. How have you been?”), rather than doing what normal fathers do, he was filled with compassion and ran out to meet him.

I read stories like this and I wonder, What if this is actually true? What if there is a God who is really like this?  What if God can’t wait to have us around–even with the garbage we keep carrying around and our half hearted “I’m sorries?”

What if God is glad to see us?

And the much more threatening question, What difference would really believing all that make in how I look at, well, pretty much everything?

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  • An interesting question! I’m not sure how I would answer it, but please consider this: Suppose the tale were told a bit differently. Suppose the father did not wait for the son to return, but went in search of him.

    Would that indicate a different kind of love for the son — different than waiting for his return?

    I ask because it seems to me that it might. When the father waits for the son’s return, he is perhaps imposing conditions on his love. He is perhaps saying, “I love you, but you must come to me before I accept you.” On the other hand, when the father goes in search of the son, he might be saying, “I love you regardless of whether or not you come to me. I love you unconditionally.”

    Thank you for a thought-provoking post!