This month’s manga is a sci-fi take on one of Jesus’ parables, a story commonly known as “The Prodigal Son.” But the real hero of the story is not the Son — it’s the Father. Good timing, since Father’s Day is coming soon. This story is an illustration of God as our Heavenly Father.
When you hear God referred to as Father, what kind of picture comes to your mind?
According to the old Japanese proverb, the four things children fear most are “earthquake, thunder, fire, and father.” If you have not had a good relationship with your father, maybe picturing God as Father is not comforting. Maybe you feared your father, or maybe you never even knew your father. Maybe Father’s Day is not a happy day for you.
But when the Bible calls God our Father, it’s a picture of a loving, giving and forgiving Father. A Father who is more loving and good than even the best father on earth.
In the Prodigal Son parable, the younger son asks for his inheritance now, instead of waiting until the father dies. In essence he’s treating his father like he’s already dead. But the father gives him what he wants. And even though his son has betrayed him, and even though that son goes on to waste all his money on wild living, the father is waiting with open arms when the son comes crawling home.
That’s what God is like.
This is most clearly seen in Jesus Christ. His life and His teachings give us the most clear picture of what God is really like. And when we believe in Jesus, we can know and experience this Father’s love. No matter how badly we’ve messed up, like the lost son, we’ll find our Heavenly Father waiting with open arms.
So while it’s great to have a good relationship with our earthly fathers, it’s even better if we can know and love our Heavenly Father.
Then perhaps Father’s Day will take on a whole new meaning for us.