One of my favorite stories is in Luke regarding the prodigal son. We have a copy of Rembrandt’s painting entitled, “The Prodigal” hanging in our dining room. (See it at in today’s blog) There’s an old Sunday school joke that you may have heard. They were talking about the Prodigal Son in the class when the teacher asked, “Was anyone sorry when the Prodigal Son returned?” After a bit of soul-searching, one little boy said, “The fatted calf.”

Zechariah is the largest of the Minor Prophets. It contains 14 chapters with very significant prophecies. All these prophecies are given from the perspective of God’s love for His people. Chapter 1, verse 14, sets this tone, “This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: My love for Jerusalem and Mount Zion is passionate and strong.” Out of His deep love for his people (us too), he call for them (and us) to return to Him. Chapter 1, verse 3 says, “Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.” This same exhortation is repeated in the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi. Chapter 3 verses 6-7 say, For I am the LORD, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts.”

One of the most beautiful stories of the Scriptures is that of the prodigal son, the youth who left home, got into deep difficulty, wasted his life in riotous living, and ended up in the pigpen. Dr. J. Vernon McGee once asked, “Do you know the difference between the son in that pigpen and the pig?” He goes on to explain that the difference is that no pig has ever said to himself, “I will arise and go to my father.” He is right; only sons and daughters can say that. That is why there will be no condemnation, no rejection by God of his children. All believers, even prodigal sons, are his children, not his enemies.

Everyone is happy when a sinner returns to God! God is glad, the sinner is glad and the angels rejoice!

“For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:24