When God decide to describe the relationship between himself and his creation, he found the relationship between father and son the most suitable. For the people of Israel, such an eminent relationship with God was out of their imagination. Jesus made it clear by calling God as his father.
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth. Psalm 127.
There is view that in children we see our own self. Or else son is a continuation of self, an exercise for immortality. In this relationship we can find every subtle form of love. Jesus calls himself as ‘Son Of Man’ but when he address God he always keen to use ‘father’. It seems he reinforcing the idea that son of a human being can call God as his father.
Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself;
he can do only what he sees his Father doing,
because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19.
An interesting father-son relationship is written in the story of Abraham. God demands Abraham’s only son’s life. God is asking the precious thing from him. It is something like giving up everything and following God as a required necessity to be perfect. But that sacrifice never happens, and it made another form on cross. God gives up his only son for us. Even God is obeying the law: to be perfect give up everything. Because our state of children of God is not inexpensive, it has the value of his blood.
Jesus in his parable when he tried to explain the need of reconciliation narrates this relationship. The father is waiting for his lost son with fattened calf and robe. But many of us are not that lost son. We are not that much apart from Him. Then where we will be. And we are not that ‘father’; we don’t have that much mercy. But there is another character in this parable, the older son. We may be that older son. We are never apart from him, never be with the pigs, but still we are not inside his love. Someone never be apart and never can be together.
We can see this same personality in another picture in John 12. Mary came to Jesus with alabaster jar of very expensive perfume and she pored it on her head. But the response of Judas Iscariot was the same as the older son; Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?”. So we are with him, but we cant enter into the picture. The older son’s expression is very interesting: Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?” Actually it the issue with his perspective, really he is not a slave in his father’s house. Father’s comment is worth to meditate: you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. Feeling good to oneself is the first realisation. Unhealthy comparisons keep God’s love away.
Dissatisfaction turns our life into misery. For a few moments the older son forget everything he enjoy in his father’s house. His frustration is very clear when he address his brother as ‘this son of yours’; not as his brother. Even he accuses his brother for squandering with prostitutes. The parable didn’t accuse the lost son for adultery. The older son never been away from his father, never been away from his home, still he cant be ‘perfect’, he can’t be elegant.
But the character of older son is not at all completely wicked. The father said to him: you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. This resembles what Jesus said about his relationship with God, his father:
For the Father loves the Son,
and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing.
So there is a beautiful possibility before us. The picture of older son is promising, if we give up the jealousy, if we give up the possessiveness, if we are ready to show some mercy than the tax collects show, if we are ready to walk two mile when one mile is requested, we can be that son who is always with his father, who possess all his father have.