When I think of Jesus’ parables, I think the Lost Coin has got to be one everyone can identify with. After all, I think most of us have misplaced or lost something at least once in our lives, and we know the joy of finding that lost thing. What I find interesting is it doesn’t seem to matter how small the thing is we’ve lost. We’re just so glad to have found it, and when we find it, there’s an urge to tell everyone about it.

This is how I sometimes feel when I’ve noticed something in Scripture I’ve not noticed before. For example, have you ever noticed that the young man, in the parable of the Prodigal Son, is forgiven by his father before he ever says a word to him? If you haven’t read this parable then you can find it here in Luke 15:11-32. You should read it if you’re not familiar with it. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Okay, let’s take a look at the verses here in Luke when the young man decides to go back home.

‘I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’

Luke 15:18-19 (NIV)

We can see the young man made up his mind to return home and apologize to his father. We can see his feelings are earnest as he sets off. Something we might not think about is how far the man had to travel before he got home. We know he had spent all the money he had and couldn’t afford to eat. Therefore, he didn’t have any mode of transportation other than his two feet. We can also surmise that he didn’t have much to eat on the way either. If he was starving and didn’t have money before he returned home then it’s not likely his situation would have changed very much either. While we don’t know where the man went, we know he probably went into the land of the gentiles, because people there owned pigs, and these animals were unclean to the Jews. However, we know, wherever he went, it was close enough that his family knew where he was and what he was doing. Otherwise, his brother wouldn’t have known he’d, “squandered [his father’s] property with prostitutes” (Luke 15:30 NIV).

Let’s look at verse 20 and see how his father responds when he first sees his wayward son returning home.

So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Luke 15:20 (NIV)

The young man’s father is “filled with compassion” when he first sees his son. Even if his father didn’t know the specifics of what his son did while he was away, at the very least, he knows it didn’t turn out well. I imagine the young man, when he left, was full of excitement and joy, much as how we might feel before going off on a new venture. I can see the young man thinking about all he was going to accomplish with his newfound wealth and responsibility. Not much different than any of us when we leave home and go off to work or college. We think we’re ready and sometimes we find out we’re not. If the father’s response to seeing his son isn’t enough to believe that he forgave him, his response after his son apologizes reveals his forgiveness.

But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

Luke 15:22-24 (NIV)

All the father wants to do is celebrate the return of his son. The father knew his son had lost his way, and when he found the way back, his focus wasn’t on those things of the past, but the future life of the son.

When God calls us to Him and we respond He doesn’t bring up our past and neither should we. However, you will find, as you walk with the Lord, things will come to mind of your past. When I came to Christ I only knew I wanted to be where He was and I didn’t want to be the “me” I used to be. I didn’t know anything about the Bible or what it meant to live a holy life. When I counted the cost of being with the Lord I measured it against the vast emptiness of being without the Lord. However, as I’ve walked with Him, I do see where I’ve done wrong. You will too.

Romans 3:23 reminds us, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (NIV). We also know, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NIV). Therefore, when we sin the best course of action is to repent and move on. No dwelling.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so that we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.