Around Father’s Day, we often remember the Godly principle of honor. It is one of the benefits of having that holiday. However, honor, particularly choosing to honor our father and mother, should not be limited to certain days… instead, as our Messiah Jesus taught us, it is to be a daily occurrence!
Join us as we explore Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, how it connects to our Heavenly Father, and how, through the restoration found in our Father, each of us can choose to walk in the principle of honor–honoring God and our parents.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
Most of us know the parable Jesus spoke about when a father who had two sons—one son who stayed with their father and the other son who left, spent all of his inheritance and then returned home.
“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’…”—Luke 15:20-24
Yeshua, in His ministry, spoke repeatedly about the importance of the principle of honor. He said we are to honor our parents and our heavenly Father. As such, we might think that a lesson where the unfaithful son was greatly blessed by his father after dishonoring him would somehow go against all Jesus taught. But it does not, because each of us, to various degrees, have been like the prodigal son.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”—Romans 3:23
The story of the prodigal son is not one of condemnation. It is about forgiveness, repentance, and love. It is a story of hope!
Certainly, choosing to honor our parents and honor God is incredibly important; but our God, like the father in the parable, has always stood with open arms to His children. We have a good and loving Father who has taught us to walk in love and the principle of honor–honoring Him and our parents.
“…Jesus said, ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”—Matthew 19:18-19
Our Messiah Yeshua taught us the principle of honor not only in words, but in actions.
Jesus honored His heavenly Father in EVERYTHING He did, obeying God’s will and commandment. Yet, He also honored His earthly mother. Even as Yeshua hung on the cross, He made sure that a disciple would, in essence, become her son and take care of her; He honored His mother.
“Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother… When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son!’ Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.”—John 19:25-27
We have a perfect God. Our Messiah Jesus was and still is perfect. He created a way for His Father’s prodigal children to come home. Yet, even as Jesus fulfilled His great call on Earth, He still chose to walk in the principle of honor—honoring His Father and His parents on Earth.
Each of us, like our Messiah, is called to walk in honor. And by being restored to our Father, accepting Jesus’ strength and mercy that allow us to return to our Father’s arms… we can honor our Father and our parents, walking in the righteousness we are meant to.
Restoration of the Prodigals
When the prodigal son returned home from his self-centered existence, having lost all the inheritance his father had given him, he was not greeted as he deserved. He was greeted with love–with mercy, compassion, and even, unwarranted honor.
When we were in the Garden, we took our Father’s blessings and cast them this way and that for ‘knowledge’ and began to wander away from the glory and serenity of living in our Father’s house. This choice in the Garden thrust us into a prodigal existence. Yet, our Father never forgot us…
Our Father desired our return—just as the father of the prodigal son desired his own son’s return.
God gave His one and only heavenly Son to pay the price of our iniquity; though, unlike the faithful son of the story, Yeshua did not complain. He took the suffering of death and the grave upon Himself to restore us to our Father. To return us to everything that being children of God means.
We, through the blood of Jesus, have been made whole again, and through that grace, we have the choice of restoration laid before us…
Spiritually, we have all been where the prodigal son was, left alone, penniless, and suffering—no matter how young or old we may be when reunited with our Father. Yet, we do not have to come home bleeding and battered. We do not have to wait until we are at death’s door…
We can choose to come to the door of our Father’s house at any time. We can seek Him! And He, being the wonderful, merciful Father that He is… He will let us in. He will develop a relationship with us and call us His own!
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!…”—1 John 3:1
First John 3:1 is a beautiful example of the Father’s love. It lays plain the fact that we are His children and He our Father. It tells us that it is the result of love—which, according to 1 John 4:8, is what God is.
When we accept Jesus as our own, we find direct access to the Father, and we…
- Are restored to our inheritance; even that which we so carelessly tossed upon the ground and gave to the world…
- Are brought into our Father’s house—the house of the King of kings—and we are clothed in royal robes of righteousness…
- Are given a family and authority that we did not earn…
- Are given love.
Using Our Restoration to the Fullest
Our Father redeemed us and brought us gladly back into His arms—our Kingdom family! It is important that we do not squander that blessing, or worse, return to the old prodigal lifestyle. The enemy may desire and try to get us to fall into that negative pattern, but Yeshua paid it all! We have been restored to our Father and can, through our Great God, stay in that place of love and family.
Our Father desires so much more for us than lack, sickness, darkness, and damnation. He desires life for us… now and on to eternity! He desires us to know that He is ever faithful, and because He truly is faithful, we can trust Him with anything. We can turn to our Father and ask for His help at any time… enabling us to do all things!
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity…”—Jeremiah 29:11-14
By all rights, we should be God’s servants or slaves, and yet, in His mercy and love, He has made us family. He has brought us in, put a ring on our finger, the choicest clothes upon our backs, and called us His children!
God asks little in return. He loved us when we were lost, and loves us when we are found. His love never runs out. Yet, it is not us who are deserving of honor, it is God. It is not us who are deserving of praise, it is God. It is not us who are deserving of blessings, it is God. It is not us who deserve to be called ‘king priests,’ it is God.
God gives us so many things freely, however, we can wisely use our restoration by choosing to…
- Walk in the principle of honor toward God
- Love God
- Serve God with all our hearts
Yet, that is not all; we can also…
- Walk in the principle of honor toward our parents
- Love our parents, neighbors, and others
- Choose to grow God’s Kingdom
We are meant to love God first and foremost, and secondly to love our neighbor as ourselves. This love allows us to do everything else we are meant to, including walking in honor. Such love in and of us is not possible, but with God all things are possible. In Him we can answer our desire and goal to grow more and more each day to be like our Father, who is love!
“…we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”—Luke 15:32 (NIV)
Another way to grow more like our Father is choosing to honor others…
On Father’s Day, and every day of the year, we are meant to walk in Godly honor. To honor the fathers and mothers on Earth and our Father in Heaven. We are called to walk in the principle of honor!
People who bring in the children of God who had been lost to our Father, so that He might rejoice.
Who desire to obey God’s commandment of honoring our parents so that they, and God through them, might be honored.
Let us choose the principle of honor and walk hand in hand with our Father in Heaven. Let us desire His will to be made manifest. And let us rejoice as the prodigals return to the Father… for we who were once far off have been brought near and experience the Father’s love!