23 October 2009

Always with you.

What is better than having the people you love most with you?

The Father says He will never leave us or forsake us. In the parable of the "forgiving father and the prodigal son" Jesus chooses important words when he retells what the father says to the son who stayed home:

"Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' "The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.

But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!'
" 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' " (Found in Luke, chapter 15, verses 25-31)

In contrast to this son, Jesus was well aware of the nearness of His Father. Look at this in his foretelling of his crucifixion:

"Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." (Found in John 8:28-30 , King James Version)

Still Jesus wanted his own friends to be with him. On the night that Jesus was betrayed, he went to the garden to pray and took his friends, the apostles to be with him in his sorrow:

"He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will." (Found in Matthew 26:37-39, New International Version)

But, his friends were not attentive and instead of being there for Jesus, they dozed even as Jesus prayed in extreme anguish. Later, knowing their failing, Jesus re-emphasised the faithfulness of the Father God:

Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
(Found in John 16:32, King James Version)

God is here and He cares.