A God Who Kisses Us
  

The Story of the Prodigal Son Reveals a Different View of God

 My religious upbringing taught of a God who was fairly distant and angry. If you did not comply with his rules and regulations, you were in trouble – big trouble. Thunder, lightning and deep, domineering voices from the heavens were the rewards of sinners in the hands of an angry God.

Surprisingly, Jesus paints a completely different picture of God than the wrathful judge who is out to scorn sinful man. In Luke 15, Jesus tells the story of the prodigal son who returns home to his father after squandering his wealth on riotous living. Imagine for a moment how your own dad would have responded if you came home and said, “I wrecked the car” or “I got arrested for vandalism.”

Now up the ante and consider the prodigal son who blew his entire inheritance. How would the average dad respond? How would the God you believe in or were taught to believe in as a child respond? Gentle, loving and patient are three words I would eliminate right off the bat. Yet Jesus paints a completely different image of God the Father in the story of the prodigal son.

Speaking of the son’s return, Jesus says, “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20)

I have heard this story countless times, but it was only when I really began to study the words of Jesus to understand the Father that the final words of this sentence jumped off the page. “(He) kissed him.” Say what? The Father kissed the son who blew the inheritance. He kissed him! Is that a typo? Shouldn’t it say something like, “He scorned him.” Or “He rebuked him.” Or at least, “He sent him to his room without dinner.” Anything but a kiss!

What makes this story more interesting is that Jesus is not just talking about a man and his Dad. Jesus is drawing a parallel between the Father and God. Jesus is saying that when a person returns to God remorseful for what he has done, the Father in turn not only accepts him -he draws near and kisses him!

Tell me, when was the last time you thought of God as one who kisses people who fall short of his standards? I don’t know about you, but I never grew up learning of a God who gives kisses.

Rebukes? Yes.

Reprimands? Certainly.

Rejects? Possible.

But a kiss – never!

As I took the time to study the words of Jesus to better understand the nature of God the Father, I came across a theme that completely revolutionized the way I see God. Jesus wants us to know that the Father is extraordinarily good; much better than our religious education has taught us and infinitely better than we could ever imagine. He is the God who kisses the ones who return to him.

If you desire a closer, more intimate relationship with God the Father, you need to look to Jesus. Grab a copy of Our Good Father today and get ready for a kiss from heaven like you have never had before!
  

Our Good Father ($14.99)​​