A God who Mourns our Leaving and Celebrates our Return

Reading through Luke chapter 15 reminds me that we have a God who has emotions, although, they are perfectly holy emotions. He is indeed the great empathizer and sympathizer to us. He is not removed from our pain or joy, even now. Jesus feels the abandonment of us leaving Him, as well as, the joy of us returning to Him. Just like in the three parables in this chapter, the lost sheep, the lost coin, the prodigal son, we see how Jesus responds to His children being lost and found. He mourns our leaving and celebrates our return.

Even though He is God, and He is all knowing, that does not diminish the fact that He has feelings. He experiences joy and can experience grief. Ephesians 4:30 states, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." The fact that Jesus knows everything, does not stop Him from having certain feelings. Even though He knows when and how we will come back to Him, it doesn't diminish his holy sadness over us turning away. Jesus knew His Father would deliver Him from death but he still felt real grief and abandonment, for example in Mark 14:34 , he said "My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch" and in Matthew 26:39 He stated, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” So, even though Jesus has knowledge of what will transpire, He still has emotions and grieves for His children, with a holy grief, when they turn away from Him.

Jesus also has immense joy over His children too. He knows that His true sheep will return, and just like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus waits expectantly for us to return and bursts with loving joy when we return. (Luke 15:7, 1o, 20, 22-24). So as you reflect on Jesus and His love, go to Him in prayer. Don't run from the One who loves you by sinning and despising Him. Turn to Him continuously, trusting that He has a heart that can be grieved as well as a heart that can rejoice over His children.

Praise God that we have a God who will grieve our turning away from Him and treasure our turning to Him again.



Carl Binger LMHC

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