GOD OF RESTORATION 1
‘I will restore to you…’ Joel 2:25 NKJ
Imagine the scene... The Pharisees think they’ve got God sussed – best behaviour or watch God smite that smile from your face! So they’re really enjoying this particular parable of Jesus.
He begins, ‘Imagine a son is reading his dad’s last will and testament,’ He smiles. ‘Only the dad isn’t dead yet!’ The crowd erupts with laughter. They enjoy a good laugh around these parts. And this story sounds darkly comic. Jesus plays the tale for all its absurdity. The son makes a moonlight dash with the family jewels. He spends it like a glutton, and finds himself down-and-out, chomping on pig swill.
The Pharisees are particularly enjoying this comical comeuppance – the prodigal reduced to scoffing an unclean animal’s slops! Quite right too! They’re wiping the tears from their eyes. They think they know exactly where this tale is going. They think it’s a warning for children to respect their parents – or else.
But then comes the punch line. Only it’s not funny. It’s peculiar. It’s surreal. The father throws a party and spends extravagant amounts of money on the son’s clothes and jewellery. He brings him back into the family as a full son. Say that last bit again, Jesus, only this time slower?
The Pharisees couldn’t buy the unbelievable ending. Why does the father not only forgive his son but also give him everything back he lost? That’s not funny, Jesus. No, He agrees. But it is the way God treats His children.
Read the short book of Joel. Highlight every promise God makes throughout it. Maybe even copy them into a list.